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.
[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.)