The North Dakota Petroleum Rush
In the late 1960's, I worked for a short time in the Williston, North Dakota, area when the previous oil boom was underway. That boom was big then, but the new petroleum rush in the Bakken Formation is enormous. The Bakken Formation contains twice the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and three times as much as Texas. Recently developed "fracking" technology has made previously inaccessible petroleum open to drilling.
All of this has had a huge economic impact not only on North Dakota, but also on neighboring states such as Minnesota. We have seen hundreds of young Minnesotans migrating there in search of high-paying jobs. Minnesota technology companies, housing operations, and even restaurants are expanding into the western part of the state. The new wealth generation will have a great ripple effect throughout the Upper Midwest.
Estate Plan Issues
Another impact of the North Dakota oil boom on stay-at-home Minnesotans is the explosion in value of mineral royalties. A few years ago, a number of my clients had a few acres or royalty shares that Mom or Dad left them. At that time, the oil trickle paid a few dollars per acre so it wasn't a very big deal. Now with the new technology used in the Bakken Formation, those are no longer trivial assets.
With oil royalties tripling over the past six years, families that have mineral royalty rights should incorporate them into their estate plans. If, for example, a family does nothing with their mineral ownership rights, they will most likely be faced with a North Dakota probate when Mom or Dad dies.
However, that doesn't have to be the case.
Now that I am admitted to practice in the "Peace Garden State", I would be pleased to help you with North Dakota mineral rights in your estate planning.
Bill Peterson is a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney with over 40 years of experience as a lawyer. He can help you plan for the future by creating a Minnesota Estate Plan. For more information, please visit http://www.mnestateplan.com or call toll free at 952-641-7312.
The contents of this article are for information only and is not to be interpreted as legal advice. For personal legal advice you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in probate law or estate planning.