Mineral Research Information

Many people contact the County Recorders office inquiring about suspected mineral ownership in North Dakota. As North Dakota law allows the "severing" of mineral interest (often called "mineral rights") from "surface ownership", the tracing of this ownership can become complex.

Documents affecting real property transactions are to be recorded in the office of County Recorder of the specific county containing the land. Each county records thousands of these documents each year, indexing them to the township, range, and section in which the land lies. Some counties also index these documents by "grantor" and "grantee", or the names of the parties to the transaction.

For an individual wishing to research possible mineral interests, the only effective method is a thorough review of the recorded documents. This review CANNOT be conducted by a County Recorder - county officials can make copies of specific documents requested (for an appropriate fee), but may not conduct the research often necessary to identify the relevant documents. This research must be conducted by the individual themselves or a private land record researcher. Some records from some counties are available on the internet through a subscription service, www.ndrin.com but in some cases, on-site review of the records will be necessary.

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