North Dakota mineral owners have filed lawsuits against energy producers, including XTO Energy, Marathon Oil and Continental Resources, over the flaring of natural gas. "The lawsuits seek to force operators to comply with state law and pay royalties to mineral owners on the value of flared gas," according to a statement from a law firm that filed one of the suits. The North Dakota Petroleum Council said its member companies are developing pipelines so they can capture the gas -- estimated at $100 million worth per month -- and ship it or use it locally instead of wasting it by flaring.

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