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Lawsuits filed against oil companies for flaring natural gas

WILLISTON - North Dakota mineral owners filed lawsuits today against 10 oil and gas companies seeking damages for natural gas that was flared.

"The lawsuits seek to force operators to comply with state law and pay royalties to mineral owners on the value of flared gas, and by so doing create a compelling economic incentive for producers to reduce and eliminate the wasteful practice of flaring," says a news release issued today by Bismarck attorney Derrick Braaten.

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status.

A dollar figure being sought has not been identified, but Braaten said it will be significant, and the claim could potentially include more mineral owners and more companies.

"You're talking millions of dollars," Braaten said. "Just how big that number is I don't know right now."

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