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1. BAKKEN SHALE

N.D. lawsuit foretells lengthy disputes over mineral rights

TRENTON, N.D. -- From a hill above their farmhouse, Mary Beth and James "Doc" Ferguson can look out over the Missouri River as it sweeps into North Dakota from Montana. Decades ago, Mary Beth's father farmed in the bottomlands along the Missouri. He gave up part of his land when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the river to create Lake Sakakawea, the giant reservoir that slices across North Dakota. Like a lot of oil-producing states, though, North Dakota allows separate owners of the surface and the mineral rights -- the right to drill for oil and gas.

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