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ND justices hear major case over mineral rights

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Justices on the North Dakota Supreme Court are weighing a case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in oil lease bonuses. The justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case that could determine whether the state or individual property owners have the right to minerals under the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. A judge earlier ruled the state owned the minerals up to the high-water mark along both rivers in Williams County. That resulted in two lawsuits against the state Department of Trust Lands being combined for the appeal that was heard Tuesday. A group of landowners in the Williston area filed one of the cases.

The other was filed by Brigham Oil and Gas. A decision will come later.