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North Dakota Landowners vs Continental Resources

Continental Resources filed a complaint last September in U.S. District Court against Landowners Rick and Rosella Fisher related to a saltwater disposal well in Bowman County. The complaint asserts that the Fishers are not entitled to compensation for use of the pore space under their land. The disposal well was drilled for the purpose of disposing produced water from wells in a unitized oil development operated by Continental.

Read more – Department of Mineral Resources data shows Continental Resources began injecting saltwater into the well last October.

Background on the Continental Resources litigation.

  • A letter was dated October 26, 2011, and entitled “NOTICE OF DRILLING OPERATIONS.” It referenced the Lonesome Dove 41-17 SWD well, and stated the purpose of the letter was to advise the Fishers that Continental was planning to drill for oil and gas on their property. The reference to “41-17” rather than “42-17” is presumably a typographical error. Continental offered $7,779.00 in compensation for surface disruption. The letter was sent by Diamond Resources landman Roland Olson. See Docket No. 18-1, pp. 4-5.
  • The second letter was dated December 6, 2011. It notified the Fishers of Continental’s intention to “complete the Lonesome Dove #42-17 well as a Class II Salt Water Disposal Well.” There was no offer of compensation made by Continental in the letter. The letter was sent by Terry L. Olson, a Continental Resources Regulatory Compliance Specialist. See Docket No. 18-1, p. 6.

The Fishers essentially contend Continental has no legal right to construct a salt water disposal well and pipeline on their property, or dispose of salt water in the pore space underneath the Subject Property. The Fishers commenced this action in state court on or about July 26, 2013. They assert claims for nuisance, trespass, fraudulent misrepresentation, and deceit. They seek monetary damages, an accounting of the salt water injected into the well, and injunctive relief in the form of an order for ejectment. The parties have not entered into any salt water disposal agreement authorizing Continental’s activities. Continental contends the Unit Agreement and North Dakota law authorize its activities.

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