Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mineral Acres In Morton County Bringing $1,500/Acre? -- December 10, 2013


December 11, 2013: less than 48 hours after the original note is posted, we get official word that four (4) permits have been issued in two counties even farther east than Morton County, which lends credibility to the rumor that someone is interested in looking for oil in Morton County also. 
Original Post 

Before reading any further, click on this link, an overview of the geology of the North Dakota Williston Basin. When you get to the link, scroll down to Figure 4.

[Okay, three readers cheated: the tracking device reveals that three readers continued reading without clicking on the link. And I go to so much trouble finding these links.]

Whatever. Figure 4: North Dakota oil producing counties (yellow) with the producing wells (blue).

The "stretched-out" county east of Stark County is Morton County. It is not yellow, i.e., it is not an oil producing county. Mandan is the county seat, sitting on the opposite shore from Bismarck.

Now that you are oriented: a reader sent me a note telling me he has heard from "reliable" sources that there was a land sale in Morton County yesterday, and I quote: "@ $1,500.00 per acre. Speculation is that it is oil money."


Later, December 11, 2013, a reader sent this note:  I was told the area is not real suitable for farming. That it is "scrub land" & so the purchase was unlikely for agriculture. My understanding it was a land sale rather than a mineral lease.  (The reader had time accessing the blog to post a comment; others have said the same thing. It's possible one has to log in with a g-mail account to post on "blogger" applications. Also, I have never been able to post from my iPad, but I have the oldest version of iPad. E-mails work fine if posting comments does not work.)


  1. are you refeering to $ 1,500 for a actual land sale for farming/ranching. cause land is selling for more then that in Slope/Bowman county for Ag uses..
    or is he referring to $ 1500 for a Mineral lease.. don

    1. That was my first thought also, but that's all the information he had. My hunch is that based on the details of the land sale, the folks knew that it was not for agriculture. In addition, $1,500 is very, very high for mineral acres in this area, but on the other hand, if there is any chance at all there is oil or natural gas there, the $1,500 pales in comparison to what has been paid in the Bakken and the Eagle Ford. I've seen this euphoria in the past when seemingly outrageous amounts are paid (for all kinds of things in the oil patch) when there is a boom.

    2. Bruce I own minerals in Morton County but have not heard of any activity. If you have more information on this I would like to see it.

      Thanks for the great blog

    3. Thank you for your kind comments. That's all I've heard. If I hear anything (of substance) I would certainly post it.

  2. Replies
    1. I never saw anything after that. I looked back two years and see no Morton County lease sales in the ND state auctions. I did not check Federal/BLM sales, but doubt anything there. Regardless, I haven't seen any permits in Morton County; and I doubt I would miss that. It's possible the rumor was wrong; perhaps the rumor started by someone not familiar with counties in North Dakota, and rather than Morton, it was Emmons. The four wells in Emmons apparently come off confidential in January, 2015, or thereabouts.