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ND's cut of oil royalties on state land increasing

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm •  Published: November 26, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has reaped more than $1.1 billion since 2007 by allowing drilling activity on state land.

The state owns about 1.2 million acres in 17 of western North Dakota's oil producing counties. And almost two-thirds of the state-owned land has an oil well or one likely will be drilled within five years.

State Department of Trust Lands commissioner Lance Gaebe (GAY'-bee) says royalty income from oil production has overtaken lease revenue as producers increasingly drill wells to hold rights to the land.

He says the state is now collecting more than $20 million monthly in royalty income.

Most of the oil money goes toward public school funding. Money also is paid to a trust fund that can be tapped by the Legislature for special projects.