I think my source was a good source, but for all I know it was a comment made by a reader who has a friend who has a sister whose husband works somewhere in North Dakota who made that comment in passing.
Until recently, there was probably no concern about deadlines for completing a well, but it's a good question. So, if anyone knows ... a lot of readers would appreciate it.
12:50 p.m. CT, same day: You asked readers for help in finding information on subject. The only definitive ND official information I have found is at: http://www.legis.nd.gov/information/acdata/pdf/43-02-03.pdf?20150408122852. See Section 43-02-03-55. Abandonment of wells or treating plants - Suspension of drilling.
The pertinent first paragraph reads:
1. The removal of production equipment or the failure to produce oil or gas, or the removal of production equipment or the failure to produce water from a source well, for one year constitutes abandonment of the well. The removal of injection equipment or the failure to use an injection well for one year constitutes abandonment of the well. The failure to plug a stratigraphic test hole within one year of reaching total depth constitutes abandonment of the well. The removal of treating plant equipment or the failure to use a treating plant for one year constitutes abandonment of the treating plant.Generally speaking, when I review file reports, wells that have not been completed have little to no production.