North Dakota Century Code Chapter 47-31: Subsurface Pore Space Policy (North Dakota Pore Space Statute)

Jurisdiction(s)
Instrument Date
Effective Date
Instrument Type
Primary
Relevant Regulatory Authority
North Dakota Legislative Branch
Purpose and Context
The North Dakota Pore Space Statute implements, with regard to pore space, the policy set out in section 47-31-01 that “undivided estates in land and clarity in land titles reduce litigation, enhance comprehensive management, and promote the security and stability useful for economic development, environmental protection, and government operations.”
Instrument Access Date
5 November 2012
I. Regulatory scope and definitions
Definitions

Article/Section No.

Section 47-31-02

Instrument Text

47-31-02. Pore space defined.

In this chapter "pore space" means a cavity or void, whether natural or artificially created, in a subsurface sedimentary stratum.

II. The scope and management of rights
Property rights

Summary

Section 47-31-03 of the North Dakota Pore Space Statute provides that title to pore space (as defined in section 47-31-02) underlying surface lands and waters is vested in the owner of the overlying surface estate.

 

In accordance with this, section 47-31-04 provides that conveyance of title to the surface of real property will also convey the pore space underlying that surface real property.

 

Under section 47-31-05, title to pore space cannot be severed from title to the overlying surface real property, although section 47-31-06 makes an exception allowing for separate leasing of pore space. 

Article/Section No.

Section 47-31-03
Section 47-31-04
Section 47-31-05
Section 47-31-06
Section 47-31-07

Instrument Text

47-31-03. Title to pore space.

Title to pore space in all strata underlying the surface of lands and waters is vested in the owner of the overlying surface estate.

47-31-04. Conveyance of real property conveys pore space.

A conveyance of title to the surface of real property conveys the pore space in all strata underlying the surface of the real property.

47-31-05. Severing pore space prohibited.

Title to pore space may not be severed from title to the surface of the real property overlying the pore space. An instrument or arrangement that seeks to sever title to pore space from title to the surface is void as to the severance of the pore space from the surface interest.

47-31-06. Transactions allowed.

Leasing pore space is not a severance prohibited by this chapter.

47-31-07. Application.

This chapter does not affect transactions before April 9, 2009, that severed pore space from title to the surface estate.

Competition with other Interests

Summary

Section 47-31-08 of the North Dakota Pore Space Statute provides that, with regard to the relationship between a severed mineral owner and a pore space estate, the Statute does not change the common law as at 9 April 2009 as it relates to the rights belonging to, or the dominance of, the mineral estate. 

Article/Section No.

Section 47-31-08

Instrument Text

47-31-08. Mineral and pore space estates - Relationship.

In the relationship between a severed mineral owner and a pore space estate, this chapter does not change or alter the common law as of April 9, 2009, as it relates to the rights belonging to, or the dominance of, the mineral estate.

III. Permitting storage site exploration, project development and CO2 injection
IV. Operating and closing storage facilities
V. Management of long-term responsibilities and liabilities