North Dakota Field Office Oil and Gas Progam

The fluid minerals program in the North Dakota Field Office (NDFO) is mandated by law, driven by customer demand, and moderated by interagency coordination and cooperation. Industry interest and activity as well as surface management agency cooperation determines when lease sales are held and where field operations will take place.

The NDFO administers 9,397,674 federal subsurface acres: 5,613,198 acres in North Dakota and 3,784,476 acres in South Dakota. The NDFO also has trust responsibility for Indian oil and gas leases located in North and South Dakota. As of September 1998 there were 44,693 acres of leased Indian minerals within the Dakotas: 43,253 acres in North Dakota and 1,440 acres in South Dakota.

MAJOR WORK-LOAD: The NDFO has the responsibility for approving applications for permit to drill or deepen wells located on federal/Indian minerals, for approving sundry applications (such as recompletions, gas flaring, off lease measurements of storage, abandonment, testing), for approving communitization agreements needed to protect public/Indian interest, and for the inspection and compliance requirements associated with this activity.

This office is also required to identify and correct drainage on federal/Indian minerals caused by development on adjacent properties.

Details of the requirements for operations on federal or Indian oil and gas leases are contained in the onshore oil and gas operating regulations 43 CFR part 3160 and in the Onshore Operating Orders.

For information regarding Operating Orders and the 3160 Oil and Gas Regulations click here.

For information regarding federal leasing click here.