BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ North Dakota has reaped more than $1.1
billion since 2007 by allowing drilling activity on state land.
The state owns about 1.2 million acres in 17 of western North
Dakota's oil producing counties. And almost two-thirds of the
state-owned land has an oil well or one likely will be drilled
within five years.
State Department of Trust Lands commissioner Lance Gaebe
says royalty income from oil production has overtaken
lease revenue as producers increasingly drill wells to hold rights
to the land.
He says the state is now collecting more than $20 million
monthly in royalty income.
Most of the oil money goes toward public school funding. Money
also is paid to a trust fund that can be tapped by the Legislature
for special projects.