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North Dakota Landowners File Natural Gas Lawsuits

August 25th, 2014

Landowners in North Dakota have filed at least a dozen class action natural gas lawsuits against drilling companies. The natural gas lawsuits stem from the drillers’ use of “flares” to rid their wells of excess gas. While the state’s energy industry suffered from lean times just a few years ago, the increased use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking”, has brought forth a new industry: shale gas exploration.

Fracking Brings Natural Gas Lawsuits

With that new industry has come an overabundance of natural gas. As the drillers pursue more lucrative crude oil deposits, the numerous gas flares have spurred landowners to pursue natural gas lawsuits against the drillers. The natural gas lawsuits allege that the flares burnt off one-third the natural gas deposits the drillers have extracted. The flares have burnt off an estimated 350 million cubic feet of natural gas every day, totaling more than $100 million each month. The landowners would have received a portion of those proceeds in mineral rights had the gas been stored and sold.

Waste, Noise Fuel Natural Gas Lawsuits

Without adequate storage facilities to store the gas, drillers have been forced to burn it off in a series of flares so bright and widespread that NASA astronauts have photographed the fires from space. According to documents in the natural gas lawsuits, one of the flares produces noise levels comparable to a jet engine. The flares can produce a 20-foot flame atop a 30-foot tower, which can be seen for miles.

Natural Gas Lawsuits And Flaring Changes

One issue on which both sides of the natural gas lawsuit can agree is that flares represent a waste of money and resources. Lance Langford, VP of the Bakken Asset for Statoil, stated that the company wants to reduce the use of flaring.

“It’s not just the environmental footprint we have here,” Mr. Langford told an NBC News reporter. “There’s also value capture for us, for the mineral rights holders and the state. I think it’s fair, but it’s going to be a challenge.”

Source: NBC News

Know Your Rights in a Natural Gas Lawsuit

To find out how we can help you with a natural gas lawsuit, contact us today at 1-855-877-7455. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a natural gas lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.

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