A North Dakota program that helps mediate disputes between farmers and ranchers and their creditors will now help with disagreements involving oil exploration.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Monday authorized his department's Agricultural Mediation Service to help producers and energy companies in the oil patch resolve disputes.
Goehring says the oil boom in western North Dakota has been great for the state's economy. But he says the actual business of producing oil has resulted in some conflicts between companies and landowners. He says either side can ask for mediation to avoid ending up in court.
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