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Homeowners in Watford City are leasing mineral acres

Posted 11/03/10 (Wed)

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
Leasing minerals is nothing new for residents of McKenzie County. However, it is a new idea for home- owners in Watford City.
“I have mineral leases in McKenzie County, so when I received a packet in the mail recently, I assumed it was for some of my county property. I have to admit that I was kind of surprised when I realized the lease information was for minerals below my house,” says Watford City resident Arden Omlid. “I wasn’t even aware that people could own the minerals under their house, but I guess they can.”
Omlid, along with other residents in Watford City’s northwest corner have been receiving phone calls and information from a mineral leasing company that wishes to lease the minerals under their homes, a first for Watford City.
“I know that companies can lease minerals in city limits because it’s been done in Dickinson, but that was for a well in town,” adds Omlid. “This won’t be the same situation because there is no room to drill a well in Watford City.”
Although a well isn’t planned in Watford City, mineral owners who lease their minerals have the potential of getting paid for wells drilled on the outskirts of town.
“The way I understand it is that if a well goes up on the edge of town, one mile of it could be outside of city limits and the second mile could potentially run right under my house. I would get a check for the production under my house.”
According to McKenzie County Recorder Ann Johnsrud, mineral rights are handled the same no matter where they lie.
“Land in town is no different than land in the country,” adds Johnsrud. “People can choose to sell the minerals with the land or keep it. Mineral owners are also researched the same way, no matter where the property is.”
The Bakken Formation has brought with it many opportunities for Watford City residents, and having the minerals below their homes leased is just one more benefit brought by the Bakken.