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John W. Morrison


John W. Morrison was the fourth inductee into the North Dakota Petroleum Council Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Council’s 25th Annual Meeting in Bismarck. Morrison has worked tirelessly and consistently for over 25 years in support of maintaining a strong oil and gas trade association in North Dakota and the Rocky Mountains. He has contributed countless hours of personal time assisting in the organizational structure and management of the association, not to mention his assistance on legal, technical, regulatory, and legislative issues, especially in matters associated with Public Lands. He was appointed by Governor Hoeven to represent the state on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He has served as chairman of the Executive Committee of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, a director of the American Petroleum Institute, President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, and as a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

Morrison is a native of Mandan, North Dakota. He graduated from Mary College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1978. His early career as a lawyer included working for the North Dakota Legislative Council, the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands and the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office before joining the Fleck, Mather & Strutz law firm in October, 1981. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the North Dakota Supreme Court. Since 1995, he has been included in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of natural resources and he authored: Horizontal Drilling The Changing Role of Conservation Principles, Federal Onshore Pooling and Unitization II, Rocky Mt. Mineral Law Inst. (1990); Regulation of Gas Gathering Systems, 39 Rocky Mt. Law Inst. (1993).

Since 1983, Morrison has represented oil and gas companies in spacing, pooling, unitization, taxation and pipeline matters. More significantly, since 1987, he has been at the forefront and a major contributor in developing the system the North Dakota Industrial Commission and other states have utilized to encourage and promote the use of horizontal drilling to exploit oil and gas reserves in the Williston Basin.

Alan Anderson, Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, says, “There is one example of his commitment to the industry that stands out. Late in the 90's, John was the last President of Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, an unenviable position. He had the enormous task of navigating an organization politically, legally and financially through its dissolution as a long-serving, multi-state organization into separate state associations capable of continuing to serve the oil and gas industry. He exhibited the use of diplomacy and compromise carefully interwoven with courage and fairness. This effort required orchestrating the continued commitment from large oil production companies along with increased financial support and leadership from the independent producers and other segments of the oil industry in North Dakota. The North Dakota Petroleum Council and its members today are an outstanding product of this effort put forth by John Morrison.”