Boulder County, Lafayette clash with oil and gas group

Boulder County, Lafayette clash with oil and gas group

  08 Sep 2018

A private oil and gas industry group views a lawsuit filed jointly last week by the Boulder County commissioners and the city of Lafayette against a state commission and a drilling operator as ignorant of property rights.

The suit, filed in Denver District Court, names the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission — which reviews applications to drill wells across the state — and drilling operator 8 North as defendants, and is centered around the former giving a green light to the company to horizontally drill 52 wells through 4,000 acres in east Boulder County.

While the county and Lafayette allege the state commission failed to hold 8 North to the proper standard of proving it owns enough mineral rights in the proposed drilling areas, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group claims no current rule requires drilling applicants to show mineral rights title opinions.

“While I can’t speak to 8 North’s specific property holdings, the (state commission) has never inquired into mineral ownership as a qualification to drill wells, as title opinions are proprietary legal advice and trespass laws preclude an operator from developing subsurface property that it does not own or has not pooled into a drilling project,” Scott Prestidge, spokesman for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, wrote in an email.

To read the full story, visit timescall.com.

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