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Associated Press, Published July 19 2012

Judge won't dismiss lawsuit over ND oil rights beneath Missouri River

WILLISTON, N.D. — A judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit against the state of North Dakota over who owns the right to make money from oil exploration beneath the Missouri River.

The dispute is focused on a 50-mile area of the Missouri between the North Dakota and Montana border and Williston.

Lawyers are arguing about the boundaries of land ownership along the river. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking to represent a larger group of mineral rights owners in the area.

The Minot Daily News reports that Northwest District Judge David Nelson is handling the case.

Nelson ruled that some key legal questions have to be decided, and he denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.