Adam S. Cohen
John R. Jacus
Sam Niebrugge
Dean C. Miller
Of Counsel
David Neslin
Of Counsel
Brian A. Annes
Tim Canon
Mave A. Gasaway
Matt Hartford
Erin K. Murphy
Josh Neely
Greg Nibert
Lori Taylor
Jennifer Williams
Staff Attorney
Charles L. Kaiser
Senior Of Counsel (Retired)

Oil & Gas Industry

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP offers clients the full range of legal services in the domestic and international oil and gas industry. We represent clients in both transactional work and litigation including federal and state governmental enforcement cases. Our oil and gas lawyers work with clients in all aspects of exploration, operation, production, sales, transportation, refining, and financing. In addition, we handle acquisitions and divestitures of both producing and nonproducing assets. Combined with our other, tax, corporate, regulatory, environmental, public lands, and litigation lawyers who are experienced in these types of matters, DGS offers one of the strongest oil and gas practices in the U.S. 

We represent a diverse group of clients in the industry, including operators, producers, pipeline companies, geophysical companies, exploration geologists, drilling companies, oil and gas lessees, mineral owners, refiners, suppliers, major banks, private equity companies, and other institutional lenders and investors. These clients range from individuals, partnerships, independents, and small companies to major joint ventures and Fortune 500 companies.

Acquisitions, Divestitures, & Financing

DGS brings a multidisciplinary approach to all phases of acquisitions, divestitures, and financing in the oil and gas industry. We represent companies, banks and other lending institutions involved and have served as issuer’s and underwriters’ counsel for public offerings of natural resources companies. We have also represented major independent oil companies in public and private mergers and acquisition transactions. We work closely with energy companies to provide tax advantageous structures for oil and gas partnerships, farmout arrangements, and Section 29 transactions.

We also have extensive experience dealing with smaller asset transactions including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating purchase and sale agreements and coordinating of all aspects of the due diligence including stand-up title examination.

Due Diligence

We also have extensive experience coordinating and participating in all aspects of due diligence in regional and multi-state transactions prior to bidding and during contract due diligence periods. Our due diligence experience includes working with our clients to develop a reasonable plan for a particular transaction, preparing checklists and forms for the team to implement the plan and gather information in a uniform format.

Our due diligence experience includes title review of county, state land board, federal, and Indian records, environmental review of oil and gas producing properties and associate assets such as pipelines, and  review of contracts for consents, preferential rights to purchase, or other terms that might have a material adverse impact on the value of the assets. In light of on-going litigation around the country, we have reviewed of marketing arrangements and the accounting to royalty and overriding royalty owners and taxing authorities to identify potential liabilities and impacts to the economic assumptions underlying a proposed transaction.

Midstream Services

We represent oil and gas companies in connection with their midstream activities involving crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.  Our team negotiates gathering, processing, transportation, fractionation, exchange, and purchase and sale agreements.  We also assist companies in determining whether their facilities are subject to regulation under the Natural Gas Act, Interstate Commerce Act, and state public utility and service statutes and regulations. We have attorneys with experience in practicing before state public utility and service commissions who assist clients in connection with corridor certificates, tariff approvals, rate cases, pipeline safety, and other matters. We regularly work with clients to request temporary waivers under the Interstate Commerce Act and other FERC-related matters. Our team also has experience working through a number of issues relating to pipelines including rights-of-way, environmental regulations, due diligence, and contract and environmental disputes.  

Exploration, Production, & Development

Our oil and gas attorneys regularly draft, review, and negotiate contracts relating to the exploration, production, and development of exploration projects, including preparation of farmout agreements, exploration and development agreements, and joint operating agreements. We regularly deal with federal and state lands including federal exploratory and secondary recovery units and a wide variety of issues dealing with access and development rights. To help streamline our clients’ business we have prepared forms tailored to particular regions or exploration projects that can be used by the land department with minimal additional review by the in-house legal team. These forms include letters of intent, purchase agreements, and oil and gas lease forms.

Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

DGS represents clients before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to obtain orders establishing spacing and involuntary pooling. We have worked with our clients to implement plans of development and resolve NOAV.

Royalty and Mineral Tax Payment Issues

DGS has great depth of experience dealing with royalty and mineral production tax assessment disputes and we have begun helping our clients head off this protracted and often expensive litigation. We have assisted a number of our clients in conducting internal audits of their marketing programs and the resulting revenue distributions to royalty owners. We have used this information to structure settlements with plaintiffs in royalty class action cases and with state government in production tax cases. 

DGS has also taken a proactive role for a number of our clients by conducting internal audits of the royalty valuation and production tax valuation procedures to determine whether the client is in compliance with current case law in a particular state. We have then advised the client on various strategies for reducing potential liability to royalty owners or state taxing authorities by offering voluntary refunds or structuring a class action settlement.

Title Work

DGS has significant experience in the examination of title and the preparation of acquisition, drilling, division order, and financing opinions covering fee, federal, and Indian lands in the states of Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Our extensive title experience allows us to provide a skilled and efficient title due diligence team in dealing with oil and gas acquisition and divestiture transactions.

Unconventional Resource Plays

DGS has assisted a wide range of clients in the development and operation of unconventional oil and gas resource plays. The horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing associated with the development of these plays raise complicated land use, water use, disposal, and air issues. DGS has worked with federal, state, and tribal regulators, landowners, and oil and gas developers in successfully resolving these issues. 

DGS clients frequently acquire and sell resource play properties throughout the country. We assist these clients in such transactions and have developed transactional documents that address unique horizontal well development issues. In particular, we have extensive experience in the negotiation and drafting of the base agreements for development of resource play properties, including joint operation agreements, so as to deal with the unique issues associated with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. 

August 2016

Colorado Anti-Oil and Gas Initiatives Move Toward November Ballot

On August 8, 2016, environmental groups and supporters filed their Petition for Verification of Signatures for two oil and gas ballot initiatives with the Secretary of State and claimed to have enough signatures to add the initiatives to the November ballot.

June 2016

Brian Annes Joins DGS

Brian Annes has joined the Natural Resources Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as an associate.  His practice will focus on oil and gas transactions and production royalties.   

May 2016

OSHA's Updated Silica Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its rule on employee exposure to crystalline silica. Please join us for a panel discussion of the new rule and its impacts on construction and oil and gas operations. 

Regulatory Déjà Vu: Environmental Groups Sue to Require Review of E&P Waste Rules Under RCRA

On May 4, 2016, environmental groups (Plaintiffs) sued EPA, alleging that it has failed to review and revise regulations for the disposal, storage, transportation, and handling of oil and gas (O&G) wastes as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).See Environmental Integrity Project et al. v. EPA, No. 1:16-cv-842 (D.D.C. May 4, 2016).

Colorado Supreme Court Re-Affirms State Preemption of Local Government Fracking Bans

On Monday, May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued decisions in two cases involving local bans on hydraulic fracturing or fracking in City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association, 2016 CO 29, ___ P.3d ___ (Longmont) and City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association, 2016 CO 28, ___ P.3d ___ (Fort Collins). 

April 2016

U.S. Forest Service Developing Policies Addressing Mitigation on National Forests and Grasslands

The U.S. Forest Service is developing national policy to address mitigation of adverse impacts in National Forests and Grasslands and is seeking public input on this policy.  

March 2016

The New BLM Proposed Rules for Venting & Flaring

Please join our panel for a discussion of BLM's proposed rule and what it might mean for your company. Topics will include putting the rule into context, analysis of key provisions of the proposed rule, discussion of how the rule may impact your operations, and initial thoughts about areas to focus on during public comment.

Planning For Problems: BLM Issues Proposed Revisions to Resource Management Planning Regulations

On February 25, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published proposed revisions to its resource management planning regulations, last revised in 2005. The proposed revisions fundamentally shift the land use management planning process from more local resource management planning to a sweeping landscape-scale approach that may make more difficult the analysis and consideration of local conditions, issues, and impacts. 

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Recent Developments Concerning Induced Earthquakes

States are adopting new regulatory requirements to address seismic concerns, and last month the Sierra Club filed a first-of-its-kind RCRA lawsuit over this issue. Please join us for a discussion of these developments.

February 2016

Oil and Gas Operators: Don't Be Caught Off Guard By PHMSA Crude Oil Sampling and Analysis Plan Requirements

If you somehow missed the new Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Transportation Administration (PHMSA) requirements for unrefined petroleum product sampling plans (49 C.F.R. § 173.41, effective July 7, 2015), you are not alone (I stand with you!). 

Industry Agreements Affecting Record Title

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal

Co-Authors: Randy Pharo and Sam Niebrugge

Skip Marter Joins DGS

Cyrus (Skip) Marter has joined Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as Of Counsel in the firm's Natural Resources Department. His practice will focus primarily on the areas of oil and gas, public lands, litigation, and corporate law. Mr. Marter was previously General Counsel for Buckhorn Energy Services. 

January 2016

COGCC Adopts Rules Implementing Task Force Recommendations No. 17 and 20

On January 25, 2016, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("COGCC" or "Commission") approved rules for coordinating the work of the COGCC with local jurisdictions when large scale oil and gas facilities are proposed near communities and for facilitating municipal planning. These rules stem from Recommendations No. 17 and 20 of Governor Hickenlooper's Oil and Gas Task Force and will become effective 20 days after they are published in the Colorado Register.


BLM Issues Venting, Flaring, and Leaking Rule – And a Jurisdictional Challenge May Be Brewing

Today, the Department of Interior (DOI)/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its much-anticipated proposed rule on venting, flaring, and leaking from oil and gas operations on onshore federal and Indian leases, along with a four-page fact sheet. DOI's press release, which discusses the proposal largely in terms of air quality, notes that the rule will "help curb waste of our nation's natural gas supplies, reduce harmful methane emissions and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, Tribes, and States." DOI is proposing to update NTL-4A by requiring operators to limit venting and flaring through new technologies, processes, and equipment including storage tanks, adopt leak detection and repair programs, and limit gas losses during liquids unloading. The proposed rule would also prohibit venting, except during emergencies and other limited exceptions–effectively implementing a "no venting" standard. Finally, the rule proposes to clarify when operators owe royalties on flared gas and allow BLM to set royalty rates at or above 12.5 percent of the value of production.

The Wyoming Supreme Court Holds that Original Parties to Oil and Gas-Related Agreements May Be Liable for Post-Assignment Breaches

Under the Wyoming Supreme Court's recent ruling in Pennaco Energy, Inc. v. KD Company LLC, 2015 WY 152 (Wyo. 2015), parties assigning agreements pertaining to oil and gas development should be aware that, absent express language in the agreement to the contrary, they could remain responsible in the event of subsequent breaches by their assignees, even when those breaches occur years later.

EPA Launches New Environmental Audit Policy eDisclosure Portal with Important Implications for Environmental Self Audits

On December 9, 2015, EPA announced important changes to its environmental audit policy and voluntary disclosure program with the launch of its new eDisclosure portal (eDisclosure Notice) intended to streamline the disclosure process. 

December 2015

Oilfield Master Service Agreement Fundamentals

Join us for a discussion of oilfield master service agreements (MSAs). Topics will include why MSAs are used and what the benefits are, what happens when an MSA is not in place, typical MSA terms and indemnities, insurance provisions, avoiding insurance coverage gaps, and preventing risk transfer failures.

October 2015

Two Part Environmental Enforcement Series

Part Two: Environmental Self-Audits and Self-Disclosure

Environmental self-audits are an effective tool to detect and correct potential non-compliance with environmental laws. In addition, EPA's Audit Policy and various state environmental audit privilege and immunity laws provide incentives for self-disclosure of non-compliance subject to certain eligibility criteria.

September 2015

Transferring Insurance Benefits in Corporate Transactions May Have Just Gotten a Little Easier, but It's Still a Tricky Task

Imagine you are general counsel explaining to your management that the insurance benefits you thought the other party to a corporate transaction had assigned to your company to cover assumed liabilities are not actually available. 

DGS Client Alert Update: New Clean Water Rule Stayed in Colorado and 12 Other States

Rule Now Effective In All Other States, But Legal Challenges Loom Nationwide

As discussed in a previous DGS alert, on May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued the new Clean Water Rule (Rule) defining the extent of jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

August 2015

Third Time's a Charm? EPA's Proposed Rule for CAA Source Determinations in the Oil Patch

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, with much fanfare, EPA released pre-publication versions of several proposed rules affecting air quality permitting and regulation of sources in the oil and gas sector. While EPA's promised "methane rules" and proposed Control Technique Guidelines (CTG's) for state emissions control requirements for oil and gas sources may have grabbed the spotlight for being completely new and different among the proposals released, also included was EPA's proposed rule for making Clean Air Act (CAA) source determinations in the onshore oil and gas sector.

July 2015

Crunch Time - Leverage, Liquidity, and M&A Issues for Upstream Energy Companies in the Second Half of 2015

When oil prices fell precipitously in the second half of 2014, many predicted that the resulting financial pressures on U.S. E&P companies would force them to rapidly scale back production. To date, the industry has defied these predictions – greater efficiency, high-grading of drilling plans, cost savings, robust capital raising and strong hedging positions have allowed domestic producers to maintain production at or near historically high levels even with rig counts falling significantly.

August 2015

Two-Part Environmental Enforcement Series

Part One: EPA Information Request Letters - Practical Tips and Guidance for Responding in Today's Enforcement Climate

Most environmental statutes provide EPA with broad information gathering authority to examine a company's compliance with applicable environmental laws or waste-related practices.  One of the ways in which EPA exercises this authority is via the Information Request letter, which may be a prelude to formal enforcement or administrative action.

July 2015

Waters of the U.S.

Please join Davis Graham & Stubbs for a discussion of EPA's and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's recently finalized jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. rule, related Clean Water Act issues, and what it all means for your business. Topics will include a discussion of the new jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. rule, including the new definition of tributary, adjacent waters, significant nexus, and new exclusions among others.

June 2015

Going with the Flow: Colorado Audit Program Ups the Ante on Flowline Compliance

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Commission) recently published an updated Rules 1101 and 1102: Flowline Guidance (Guidance)1 confirming the agency's intent to begin random audits of operators' flowline integrity records in 2016 to determine compliance with applicable Commission flowline regulations for the 2015 calendar-year. These audits will continue indefinitely thereafter.

EPA's New Clean Water Rule and Unique Concerns for Western Operators

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a pre-publication final rule defining the jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Unless blocked by some federal legislation or court order, the final rule will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. That effective date will likely be around mid-August.

Clearing the Waters: EPA Finds No Systemic Impacts to Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

Clearing the Waters: EPA Finds No Systemic Impacts to Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities

On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a draft study report entitled Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, which analyzes the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water.

May 2015

Treasury Issues Proposed Regulations on Qualifying Income for Master Limited Partnerships

Treasury Issues Proposed Regulations on Qualifying Income for Master Limited Partnerships

On May 5, 2015, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that provide guidance on whether income of a master limited partnership (MLP) related to minerals or natural resources constitutes "qualifying income" for purposes of classifying the MLP as a partnership (and not as a corporation) for tax purposes.

April 2015

Midstream Fundamentals

Join us for a half-day discussion of midstream fundamentals. Topics will include scope of FERC jurisdiction over gas, oil, and liquids pipelines; key provisions of gathering, processing...


March 2015

The Federal Government Joins the Fray: The BLM's Final Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On March 20, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its final rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands (Final Rules). The Final Rules govern approximately 700 million subsurface acres overseen by the BLM, and they culminate a rulemaking process that began in November 2010.

Air Quality Summit

It's hard to deny that air quality regulations are one of the most important government initiatives impacting business and industry today. To help understand what the latest and likely future air quality requirements will look like, we have assembled three panels consisting of some of the leading federal and state regulators, as well as several industry and air quality planning experts, to provide their perspectives.

January 2015

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Adopts Changes to Enforcement and Penalty Rules

On January 5, 2015, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) amended Rules 522 and 523 governing enforcement and penalties. These amendments implement House Bill 14-1356, which the legislature adopted last April.

December 2014

Here We Go Again - Key Legal Issues for Upstream Energy Companies Raised by Recent Declines in Oil Prices

After a period of relative stability, volatility in global oil prices has returned with a vengeance in recent weeks. Slow economic growth in many regions, OPEC inaction, and surging U.S. production have combined to cause a precipitous fall in the price of oil, which continues to hit new multiyear lows.

High Risk, Questionable Reward

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a request for information (RFI) on various changes to the Risk Management Program (RMP) under Section 112(r)(7) of the Clean Air Act, including completely replacing the current RMP rule and its sister regulation, the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, with a new framework for regulating high-risk industries. The comment period associated with the RFI closed on October 29, 2014. EPA has published over 570 comments submitted by industry members, state and local agencies, public citizens, and non-governmental organizations in response to the RFI. This Client Alert analyzes the bulk of those comments for common themes that illustrate anticipated areas for programmatic revision. It further identifies certain ideological conflicts which must be resolved before any final rule can issue with broad-based support.

RFI Background

In response to Executive Order 13650, entitled "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security," was issued August 1, 2013 in response to several recent major chemical accidents, including the explosion at the West Fertilizer Facility in West, Texas. The Executive Order required numerous federal agencies to form a Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (Working Group) to identify how to reduce the incidence of major chemical incidents at chemical facilities. On May 1, 2014, the Working Group issued its report to the President recommending a number of initiatives, including modernizing the RMP and PSM standards by May 1, 2015. EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) both issued RFIs intended to assist in determining whether and how to modernize the RMP and PSM standards. Following-up on publication of the Working Group's report and OSHA's RFI, which signals that OSHA may apply an expanded PSM program to ammonium nitrate, reactive chemicals, and oil and gas drilling, servicing, and production facilities, EPA published its own RFI intended to improve and/or expand its RMP rule.


Next Generation of COGCC Enforcement

Join us for a timely discussion on the new Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) enforcement and penalty regulations, which were adopted January 5, 2015. Attendees will receive an overview of the recent regulatory changes, their fiscal implications, and responsive strategies, including voluntary disclosure, negotiating settlements, contesting violations, and using services agreements to reduce risks.

November 2014

Let's Talk Turkey About EPA's Proposed Lower Ozone Standards

Today, EPA issued its long-awaited new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) proposal for ground level ozone, the federal health-based standard that states must decide how to meet. The new primary 8-hour ozone NAAQS, which EPA is proposing to set at between 65 and 70 parts per billion (ppb), represents a significant tightening of the standard from the current level of 75 ppb and would put a significant portion of the country in non-attainment. The agency is also taking comment on setting the primary NAAQS as low as 60 ppb, which could drastically expand non-attainment designations even further. The agency has also proposed tightening the secondary ozone standard, which exists to protect “public welfare” (as opposed to public health) values such as soils, water, crops, wildlife, weather, economic values, visibility and climate, and personal well-being.

Today’s proposal marks yet another substantial federal air quality action by EPA in a year that has seen, perhaps, as many significant air quality rules or court decisions as any on record. These include the U.S. Supreme Court’s validation of EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSPR), the Court’s ruling on the extent of EPA’s authority to regulate CO2 from stationary sources in the Utility Air Regulatory Group case, EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan focusing on CO2 reductions from coal-fired power plants, the proposed reversal of EPA’s policy on affirmative defenses for startups, shutdowns, and malfunctions; and the Supreme Court’s recent acceptance of certiorari to review the legality of the Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Of these, it is perhaps the ozone NAAQS that poses the most serious and important consequences for businesses as well as state regulators, and even the EPA itself. A further lowering of the ozone NAAQS (it was last lowered in 2008) will significantly impact nearly every industrial sector, necessitating, in our view, widespread participation in EPA’s notice and comment process. Comments will be due 90 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register; although, given the significance and breadth of the rule’s potential impacts, it is possible the comment deadline will be extended. A final rule is expected by October, 2015.


DGS Ranks Among Best Law Firms

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP was named among the 2014-2015 “Best Law Firms” by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in their fifth edition, which published today. U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have joined forces to position more than 11,000 firms in 87 practice areas based in 178 metropolitan areas and eight states. Firms were ranked across three tiers both locally and nationally based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered from peer and client feedback.

October 2014

Oil Spilled Is Down Amidst Oil Boom

Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development Newsletter

Coloradans sometimes ask me about the potential environmental harms of oil and gas development, including fracking. With the current oil boom in Colorado, some assume a corresponding increase in oil spilled. In fact, the opposite is true.

September 2014

Mission Creep: EPA Further Narrows its Start-Up, Shut-Down, and Malfunction Policy

On September 17, 2014, EPA further revised its policy regarding start-up, shut-down, and malfunction (SSM) events, issuing a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPR) that would remove the availability of an affirmative defense for air emission exceedances resulting from malfunction events.

DOT Proposes Series of Rules Targeting Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol, Citing Increased Traffic and Recent High-Profile Accidents

The Department of Transportation (DOT), through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), has recently proposed a series of rules as part of its comprehensive effort to strengthen safety standards for rail transport of crude oil and ethanol, as well as other flammable liquids.

Securities Law Update - Public E&P Companies

Recent trends in SEC comments issued to oil and gas companies, and an enforcement action against one such company, illustrate current SEC priorities relating to the industry.

We are now at the point in the calendar-year reporting cycle when comments of the SEC staff on annual reports for the prior year, and the current year’s proxy statements, have generally become publicly available. 

August 2014

EPA Actions on GHG Permitting Following the UARG Decision

As discussed in our client alert of June 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (UARG) invalidated EPA’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) regulations to the extent those regulations required stationary sources to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and/or Title V major source permits based solely on the source’s GHG emissions (termed "non-anyway" sources). On July 24, 2014, EPA issued a memorandum to the regional administrators outlining several next steps following the UARG decision.

June 2014

COGCC Shuts Down Wastewater Injection Site in Response to Small Earthquakes - How This Could Impact Colorado Operators

This past Tuesday – June 24, 2014 – the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) issued a press release, explaining that it had ordered High Sierra Water Services to temporarily cease operating a 10,000 barrel-per-day injection well in Weld County. The COGCC described the order as “a precautionary step” that would enable the agency to analyze whether well operations are tied to recent low-level seismic activity nearby.

The Supreme Court "Tailors" EPA's GHG Permitting Program

Yesterday, Justice Scalia, writing for a majority of the United States Supreme Court, invalidated EPA's greenhouse-gas (GHG) regulations to the extent they require stationary sources to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and/or Title V major source permit based solely on the source's GHG emissions. The Court, however, also validated EPA's extension of "best available control technology" (BACT) requirements to GHG emissions at sources already subject to PSD requirements based on criteria pollutant emissions (so-called "PSD-anyway" sources).

May 2014

Hydraulic Fracturing: Recent Trends & Updates

Please join us for this seminar discussing the recent trends and legal updates surrounding hydraulic fracturing. Our guest speaker, Mike Paque, Executive Director of the Ground Water Protection Council, will address the recent report from the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, FracFocus 2.0 Task Force.

The Devil's in the Details: EPA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure

On May 9, 2014, the U.S. EPA issued a pre-publication copy of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting public comment on regulatory and voluntary mechanisms for obtaining information on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing (HF) operations.

Enforcement Issues Relating to Air & Water Resources

Please join us for the second of our enforcement seminars on current issues affecting air and water resources. In this session, our speakers will cover air enforcement trends and developments in Colorado and EPA Region 8 as well as wetland issues including enforcement under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

April 2014

A Sweet or Sour Development? EPA's Reduction of Sulfur Content in Gasoline Under the Tier 3 Program

Gasoline sulfur levels have already been reduced by up to 90 percent as a result of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Tier 2 Gasoline Sulfur Program. On March 3, 2014, EPA issued a pre-publication notice finalizing its newest fuels program (the Tier 3 Program) intended to further reduce gasoline sulfur content, as well as exhaust and evaporative emissions from vehicle engines.

March 2014

Troubled Waters Ahead! New Proposed Rule Defines Areas Regulated by Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a pre-publication release of the much-anticipated proposed rule to define the jurisdictional "Waters of the United States" that are regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed rule is aimed at providing clarity and certainty to "jurisdictional water" determinations in the wake of the uncertainty resulting from the 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Rapanos v. U.S.

The Risk Shifting Provisions of the IADC Daywork Drilling Contract

Please join us for this seminar that will focus on the IADC Daywork Drilling Contract. This seminar is for in-house attorneys, drilling managers, operations engineers, and risk management personnel who participate in the negotiation of drilling contracts and obtaining liability insurance.

New Colorado Policy for Conditional Closure of “Low-Threat” Sites with Groundwater Contamination – A Long-Awaited Exit From Remediation Limbo?

On January 8, 2014, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division published a new policy which provides a roadmap for closing "low-threat" sites where groundwater contamination concentrations exceed Colorado’s groundwater standards.

December 2013

For Ohio Assignments, Beware the

A recent decision from the Ohio Court of Appeals clarifies that a prohibited assignment of an oil and gas agreement (including an oil and gas lease) containing a "soft consent" may be invalidated in the same manner as if the oil and gas agreement contained a "hard consent."

October 2013

Surface Access & Disputes

Please join us for this seminar that will focus on surface owner notice, negotiation, agreement, and dispute issues related to oil and gas operations. Topics will include a discussion of the mineral lessee's rights and responsibilities, an overview of Commission Rules on contacting the surface owner, and how to document your negotiation and discussions. Our speakers will also address what to do when you reach an impasse, when to involve legal counsel, and seeking court intervention, if necessary.

Where There's Smoke There's Fire? – How it Just Got Harder for Colorado Oil and Gas Operators to Meet Air Emissions Requirements

The Air Pollution Control Division has again revised its P.S. Memo 10-02: "Oil & Gas Atmospheric Condensate Storage Tank Batteries System Reporting Guidance" to make several significant changes regarding reportable air emissions under Air Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 7, § XII.

Access to Leasehold

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Federal Oil & Gas Leasing Short Course


Rebuilding After the Colorado Floods – Complying With Clean Water Act § 404

The recent devastating floods in Colorado have created significant challenges for a wide variety of companies. In the aftermath, affected businesses must quickly make important decisions related to response activities that may be subject to a variety of regulatory programs, including Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 

September 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing & Air Emissions Seminar

Please join us for this seminar that will focus on recent air emission studies and issues related to oil and gas operations. As concerns over increased oil and gas activity using hydraulic fracturing continue to mount, significant efforts and focus have turned to air emissions - both from oil and gas operations generally, and hydraulic fracturing specifically. In this session, our speakers, who have been and are involved in the forefront of these issues, will present an overview of completed and ongoing studies regarding the impact of airborne emissions associated with oil and gas operations.

Shale Gas Radio Interview

Chinese Radio International

At a time when the world population is growing all the time and energy dependency is one of the biggest headaches facing every government, fracking might be a good way to be less reliant on gas and oil imports from the more volatile parts of the world. But what environmental impacts does fracking have on our planet? 

Listen to the interview.

Nuisance, opportunity in oil and gas development

The Denver Post

Recent press reports on U.S. Rep. Jared Polis contemplating a lawsuit to halt oil and gas development near his farm illustrate several important points. To begin with, this type of development is creating new opportunities for small businesses, like Sundance Energy, which is drilling the well at issue.


July 2013

Court Strikes SEC Rule Requiring Disclosure by Resource Companies of Payments to Governments

On July 2, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the rule adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission implementing the statutory provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandating disclosure by oil and gas and mining companies of payments to certain governments. The regulation required disclosure on a new Form SD for fiscal years ending after September 30, 2013. The matter was remanded back to the SEC to draft a new rule more consistent with the statutory intent.

May 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing Water Resources and Management

Please join us for the second session of a two-part series on Hydraulic Fracturing Water Resources and Management. Water, as a critical component in oil and gas development, can at times become a limiting factor that can impact production and new development. 

In this session, our speakers will discuss the legal, regulatory, and practical aspects of acquiring water supplies for oil and gas operations in Colorado. 

AAPL Pooling Seminar

American Association of Professional Landmen Pooling Seminar

Co-presenters: David Neslin and Lamont Larsen

Colorado’s Public Trustee Foreclosure Process

Rocky Mountain Landman

Oil and gas development is occurring in close proximity to residential development with increasing frequency, which means more headaches for landmen and title attorneys alike. A mortgage generally covers all of the mortgagor’s interest in the mortgaged property. Thus, if the mortgagor owns any mineral interest in the mortgaged property, the mortgage generally covers such mineral interest, unless the mortgage expressly provides otherwise.

April 2013

Shale Gas Development “Need Not Cost Environment”

viEUws - The EU Policy Broadcaster

Leading environment journalist, Sonja van Renssen, is joined by David Neslin, former director of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (the government agency that regulates all oil and gas development in the state of Colorado), to discuss Shale Gas Development.

Randy Pharo Joins DGS

Milam ‘Randy’ Pharo has joined DGS as Of Counsel in the firm’s Natural Resources Department. His practice will focus primarily on the areas of oil and gas, public lands, and corporate law. Mr. Pharo was previously Senior Vice President and General Counsel at SM Energy Company and Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Magellan Petroleum Corporation.

March 2013

Colorado Considering Significant Revisions to Emission Control, Permitting, and Reporting Requirements for the Oil and Gas Industry

At the February 28, 2013 Stakeholder Meeting, the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (Division) revealed a suite of revisions it is considering to Air Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 7, in the form of significant new and expanded control options for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), and other hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas facilities. The Division anticipates a formal rulemaking process to begin in November, 2013. 

EPA Proposes Significant Changes to its Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Air Rules

On February 22, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping proposal regarding the treatment of excess emissions in state rules from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM). The proposal responds to a petition for rulemaking filed in 2011 by the Sierra Club, and promises to fundamentally alter the way most states, including Colorado and North Dakota, treat SSM events in their State Implementation Plans (SIP). Comments on EPA’s proposal are currently due March 25, 2013. 

2013 Survey on Oil & Gas

Texas Wesleyan Law Review

During the past year, a number of important judicial decisions and regulatory actions concerning oil and gas development occurred in Colorado. These decisions and actions should be of interest to all persons who are involved in Colorado oil and gas activity.


February 2013

Developments and Trends in Clean Air Act Source "Aggregation"

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute: Air Quality Issues Affecting Oil, Gas, and Mining Development in the West

Operating in a World of Nonattainment: National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Implications for Energy Development

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute: Air Quality Issues Affecting Oil, Gas, and Mining Development in the West

COGCC Issues New Drilling Setback Rules

On Monday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) gave final approval to new rules which expand the setbacks for oil and gas wells and production facilities and impose new notice, meeting, and mitigation requirements to better protect nearby homes and neighborhoods. The COGCC touts the new rules as "the strongest rules in the country for limiting the impact of drilling near residences and other occupied buildings." These rules will go into effect on August 1, 2013.


Strange Bedfellows - Bicycles and Hydraulic Fracturing

What do bikes and hydraulic fracturing have in common? Prior to this week, the answer was probably very little. On February 4, 2013, however, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously issued an opinion striking down the City of Black Hawk’s ban prohibiting bicycle traffic on certain local streets. 

State Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Environmental Issues Associated With Unconventional Gas Development

U.S. – Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Energy Working Group Round Table - Energy Law in XXI: Views from the U.S. and Russia

DGS Attorney Lamont Larsen to Speak at RMMLF Special Institute

DGS associate Lamont Larsen will be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) Special Institute on Horizontal Oil & Gas Development. The Institute, being held November 8-9 in Westminster, Colorado, will explore the legal and technical challenges facing the oil and gas industry as horizontal development in shale and other similar plays expands and challenges the technological and legal frontiers. 

Navigable Waters - Significant Nexus Test in the O&G Industry

Fourth Quarter 2012 Rocky Mountain Environmental, Health and Safety Peer Group Meeting

COGCC’s “Setback” Rulemaking Means More Regulation for the Oil and Gas Industry

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has embarked on a significant new rulemaking that promises to have big impacts on oil and gas operations in Colorado. On September 21, 2012, the COGCC rolled out a conceptual outline of potential amendments to the existing COGCC setback rules, and on October 1, the Commission gave the go ahead to begin a rulemaking to amend the setback rules. Proposed rules were published October 15.

Air Quality Impacts of Shale Development

Proof of Causation in the Courts vs. Proving a Negative in the Court of Public Opinion

This two-part Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP breakfast briefing series in September and October will focus on the cutting edge of environmental controversy surrounding shale development for oil and gas production, addressing a number of significant developments in the courts and across the country regarding air quality impacts from shale development involving hydrofracturing or "fracking."

Workshop on Best Practices for International Oil & Gas Agreements

International Senior Lawyers Project

Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation: Recent Developments and Current Issues in Cases Involving Alleged Water Supply Impacts

RMMLF Special Institute on The Water-Energy Nexus: Acquisition, Use and disposal of Water for Energy and Mineral Development

Many experts agree that new supplies of natural gas and oil from shale and other unconventional formations have the potential to decrease our energy costs, increase our employment, enhance our national security, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.


Sixth Circuit Strikes Down EPA's Clean Air Act Source Aggregation Approach

In a 2-1 opinion issued August 7, 2012, in the case of Summit Petroleum Corp v. EPA, No. 10-4572, slip op. (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2012), the Sixth Circuit appears to have struck a substantial blow to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA" or "the Agency") approach to single source aggregation under the Clean Air Act ("CAA").

July 2012

Natural Gas Supports Healthy Job Growth in Colorado

The Daily Sentinel

Colorado is at the forefront of domestic natural gas development and, according to a recent study by IHS Global Insight, the state will benefit from this development with substantial and  sustained job growth. In Colorado, development of unconventional natural gas – including shale, tight sands and coalbed methane – is projected to support more than 126,000 jobs by 2015.


Colorado Supreme Court Decides Grand Valley Citizens' Alliance Case

Yesterday, the Colorado Supreme Court decided Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Grand Valley Citizens' Alliance, No. 10SC532 (Colo. June 25, 2012), which involves the public's right to a hearing before the Commission. In a 6 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act requires the Commission to hold a hearing in response to a public request only for rules, regulations, or orders. Other hearing requests by the public are governed by the Commission's regulations, which do not entitle the public to hearings on applications for permits to drill (APDs).


DGS Attorneys to Speak at the 58th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner Connie Rogers and associate Sam Niebrugge will be speaking at the 58th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute on July 19-21 in Newport Beach, California. The Institute is organized by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), a collaborative educational non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the law and regulations relating to mining, oil and gas, water, public lands, land use, conservation, environmental protection, and other related areas.


June 2012

Ukraine sees Colorado as model for sound gas development

Denver Business Journal

I recently spoke at a shale gas conference in Kiev, Ukraine, about Colorado's experience producing the energy that we need while protecting the environment that we treasure. 


Associate Craig Gleaton Joins DGS Natural Resources Department

Craig Gleaton has joined the Natural Resources Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as an associate. He focuses his practice on oil and gas transactional matters and the preparation of title opinions covering fee, state, and federal lands. Mr. Gleaton has experience with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and also has negotiated purchase and sale, joint operating, farmout, and various other agreements. He is licensed to practice law in Colorado, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.


Federal Oversight of Hydraulic Fracturing

CLE International - Hydraulic Fracturing: The Debate Continues

May 2012

EPA Issues Permitting Guidance on Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel

On the same day that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its proposed rules governing hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Indian land (read the DGS Alert), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft of its long-awaited “Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels.”  The guidance is intended to aid in the permitting of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels under the Safe Drinking Water Act’s (SDWA) Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) where EPA is the permitting authority – including, importantly, in Pennsylvania and New York.  The guidance, however, suggests that it also would prove useful to state UIC permit writers.  It also notes that some states may seek to revise their current UIC program to follow the guidance.


BLM Issues Proposed Rules Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing

Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its much anticipated proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian land. The rule, which has been delayed for the past several months as the Bureau conducted tribal consultations and made last minute changes, imposes three major categories of new requirements on hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells on public and Indian land: (1) disclosure requirements; (2) standards related to well-bore integrity; and (3) obligations related to flowback and other water management plans.


DGS Partner Dave Neslin to Speak at Global Workshop on Shale Gas Development

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner David Neslin will speak at a two-day regional workshop on shale gas exploration and extraction presented by the Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF). The workshop, taking place in Kiev, Ukraine on May 24-25, 2012, will help identify key issues to address as the region looks to encourage production on unconventional gas and set a road map for addressing them.


April 2012

DGS Partners Dave Neslin and Gail Wurtzler to Speak at CHWMS Workshop

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partners David Neslin and Gail L. Wurtzler will be speaking at the Colorado Hazardous Waste Management Society (CHWMS) Workshop on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, which will be held at Geotech Environmental in Denver, Colorado. DGS associate Radcliffe Dann IV is on the planning committee for the half‐day event, which will feature an overview and discussion of important issues and developments with respect to hydraulic fracturing. The agenda will focus on baseline sampling programs, regulatory and litigation updates, and current governmental studies related to the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.


March 2012

Guest Commentary: Get to the Truth on Fracking

The Denver Post

The current dialogue about hydraulic fracturing is healthy because we should all understand how we obtain the energy we use.  In Colorado, much of this energy currently comes from natural gas and oil.  Natural gas heats about three out of every four homes and generates about one-fourth of our electricity.  Oil fuels most of the 5 million motor vehicles that we own or lease and the 46 billion vehicle miles annually driven on Colorado roads.


DGS Partner to Speak at National Journal Policy Summit

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner David Neslin will be speaking at the National Journal policy summit entitled “Unleashing Potential: Finding the Best Regulatory Environment to Boost Responsible Natural Gas Production.” The event, underwritten by the American Chemistry Council, will be held in the Knight Broadcast Studio at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 2012, starting at 8:30 a.m.


Industry Agreements Affecting Record Title

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

Co-authors: Sam Niebrugge and Randy Pharo

David S. Neslin, Director of Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, To Join Davis Graham & Stubbs

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP today announced the expansion of its oil and gas and public lands practices with the addition of David S. Neslin as a partner effective March 1, 2012. Dave is currently the Director of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas development in Colorado. The addition of Dave Neslin continues the firm’s expansion of its team serving energy industry clients and brings to DGS a national figure in energy development.


December 2011

DGS Partner John R. Jacus Speaks at Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Production

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partner John R. Jacus will be co-speaking at the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Production, which is presented by the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law, on January 13th at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas.  


October 2011

Access to Leasehold

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing Short Course


Three DGS Partners Named Lawyers of the Year

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partners Gregory R. Danielson, Andrew M. Low and Lester R. Woodward were named Denver “Lawyers of the Year” by the publisher of Best Lawyers®.  Mr. Danielson was recognized in the field of oil and gas law, Mr. Low in appellate practice, and Mr. Woodward in mutual funds law.


September 2011

DGS Partner Scot W. Anderson Speaks at 29th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partner Scot W. Anderson will be speaking at the 29th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course, which is presented by the State Bar of Texas, on October 6-7 th at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas.


Anderson Speaks at Annual Advanced Oil Gas and Energy Resources Law Course

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partner Scot W. Anderson will be speaking at the 29th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course, which is presented by the State Bar of Texas, on October 6-7th at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas. Mr. Anderson’s discussion will focus on “A Right and Duty: Legal Considerations for Foreign Investments in U.S. Energy Projects.” To see more event related information, click here.


December 2010

Revised Oil and Gas Lease Form for Colorado State Lands: A Brief Summary of the Proposed Changes

The Rocky Mountain Landman

Co-authors: Lamont Larsen and Lara Griffith

On September 24, 2010, the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners (the “Board”) released its proposed revision to the oil and gas lease form for Colorado state lands. The Board subsequently accepted written comments regarding the proposed changes and is expected to consider the adoption of the new form at its meeting on December 3, 2010. The proposed changes to the lease form are substantial, and if adopted, may have a significant impact on future operations on Colorado state lands. Following is a brief summary of some of the proposed


October 2010

Why Your Form JOA May Not Be Adequate For Your Company's Horizontal Drilling Program

Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen's Fall Land Institute

The concept of drilling a horizontal well has been around the oil patch for longer than might be suspected. According to some reports, the first true horizontal well was drilled near Texon, Texas in 1929. However, it was not until the 1980’s that the technology behind horizontal drilling really began to develop. At first, domestic horizontal drilling was primarily limited to the oil fields producing from the Austin Chalk Formation in south central Texas. This limestone oil-bearing formation is highly permeable and contains extensive naturally-occurring vertical fractures that facilitate the flow of oil into the wellbore. A conventional vertical well would at best intersect one of these vertical fractures. Operators soon realized that drilling a horizontal well would ensure that multiple fractures would be intersected, resulting in an exponential increase in oil production. By the early 1990’s, operators drilling to the Austin Chalk Formation began to experience initial production rates of over a 1,000 barrels a day from horizontal wells.


September 2010

First 'Best Law Firms' Analysis Slots DGS as a National Leader

The inaugural, 2010 edition of the U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Guide ranks Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP as a national leader in mining law and mutual funds law – and honors the LoDo-based firm with first-tier regional rankings in energy, natural resources, commercial litigation and several corporate law areas, including tax, securities, private equity and M&A. U.S. News & World Report published the results yesterday. The survey included responses from 9,514 corporate executives, in-house lawyers, marketing officers or private practice attorneys.


August 2010

Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Top “Best Lawyers” List in Colorado

The newly announced, 2011 edition of the Best Lawyers in America ranks Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado-based law practices for corporate governance and compliance law, environmental law, mergers and acquisitions law, natural resources law, oil and gas law and securities law. This year Best Lawyers recognizes 36 DGS attorneys, including 13 who have been named to the list for at least 10 years. Nearly half (46 percent) of DGS partners are recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence, in addition to several attorneys of counsel to the firm. Best Lawyers is a peer-review survey of more than 39,000 in-house counsels and private practice attorneys.


September 2009

Oil Gas Industry Update

Limited Guidance Offered in Applying New Colorado Oil & Gas Rules on Federal Lands

New and Revised General Construction Permits for E&P Condensate and Produced Water Tanks

Read Update...

New Developments in Colorado Concerning Produced Water, Water Rights and Well Permitting

On August 31, 2009, the Colorado Office of the State Engineer (SEO) issued proposed Rules and Regulations for the Determination of the Nontributary Nature of Ground Water Produced through Wells in Conjunction with the Mining of Minerals (Proposed Rules).

Important Royalty Decision Issued Produced Water, Water Rights and Well Permitting

July 2009

Royalty Alert— North Dakota Upholds the Deduction of Post-Production Costs

Representing a significant victory for oil and gas producers, on July 9 the North Dakota Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Bice v. Petro-Hunt, LLC1, upholding the deduction of post-production costs based on "at the well" royalty clause language in the oil and gas leases at issue.


May 2009

Andrea Wang Presents at Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies' Education Day

On May 21, Andrea Wang spoke at the Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies’ Education Day on Inapplicability of Colorado Sales Tax to Well Fracturing Services and Separators – How to Preserve your Rights.


E&P Transactional and Capital Markets Update

The credit crisis and low commodities prices have combined to create a difficult financing environment for many companies in the oil and gas business, and have caused a significant slowdown in acquisition activity.  Current conditions, however, also present opportunities for financing, acquisition and development transactions that will allow companies to position themselves for future success.


Public Notice for New General Permit for Produced Water Treatment Facility Discharges – Public Comments Accepted

On April 24, 2009, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Water Quality Control Division (“WQCD”) published a public notice for a new general permit for discharges from produced water treatment facilities associated with oil and gas exploration and production activities.


February 2009

Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Issues Final Revised Rules

On December 10, 2008, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ("Commission") completed a formal rulemaking process begun in March 2008. After hearing public testimony in Grand Junction and Denver, completing twelve days of party hearings and eleven days of deliberations, the Commission approved comprehensive revisions impacting, in varying degrees, virtually every series of the Commission's rules governing oil and gas operations in Colorado.


January 2008

Expropriation, Nationalisation and Risk Management

Exploration & Production: The Oil and Gas Review

After a period of relative calm, the oil and gas industry has been hit by a new wave of action by host countries, imperiling resource development.  These actions fall under the broad category of ‘political risk,’ which includes expropriation, currency instability and political violence.


December 2007

House Bill 1341 and the COGCC's Strawman Proposal

In its 2007 legislative Session, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 1341, legislation substantially changing the composition of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and charging the Commission to include consideration of environmental, wildlife and public health impacts associated with its decisions.


April 2007

Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Featured at Oil & Gas Industry Roundtable

Davis Graham & Stubbs partners Laura Riese, John Jacus and John Elofson will be panelists for a national oil and gas industry roundtable in Houston on April 26-27.  The conference, “Measuring Return on Environment” will be presented by MetaVu, a business consulting firm in Denver.


Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Featured at International Mining and Oil & Gas Institute in Argentina

Davis Graham & Stubbs partners Scot Anderson and Deborah Friedman will be lead participants for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment on April 16-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 


February 2007

Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorney Judy Matlock To Speak at Special Institute on Federal & Indian Oil & Gas Royalty Valuation

Judy Matlock, a partner in the energy group at Davis Graham & Stubbs, is a featured speaker and program planner for the Special Institute on Federal and Indian Oil & Gas Royalty Valuation and Management in Houston, February 28-March 2, 2007.


October 2006

EPA Region 8 Spearheading Oil & Gas Initiative Via Enforcement

ABA Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee Newsletter

September 2006

Davis Graham & Stubbs Offering Gas Marketing Seminar for Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Producers

Davis Graham & Stubbs is offering a complimentary breakfast briefing for oil and gas producers on Tuesday, September 26, 8:00- 9:15 a.m. in their offices. The seminar, “Issues in Gas Marketing: Obligations in Marketing a Non-Operator’s Production,” will explore gas marketing issues arising under Joint Operating Agreements. The session will be discussing the complications that arise when a nonoperator’s production is not taken in kind and the operator assumes marketing responsibility. Davis Graham energy partner Judy Matlock will be the featured speaker for the briefing, offering practical suggestions for operators and outlining risks and obligations.


Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 26 Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys

Twenty-six Davis Graham & Stubbs attorneys practicing in 28 fields will be recognized in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The number of DGS lawyers recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence increased by five this year, and represents more than 40% of DGS partners overall. DGS ranks first in the number of Colorado-based attorneys listed by the 2007 edition of Best Lawyers in the Commercial Litigation, Natural Resources, Environmental Law, Securities Law and Corporate Governance and Compliance Law practice areas.


June 2006

Two More Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Selected for International Who's Who Guides

Davis Graham & Stubbs lawyers Deborah Friedman and Tom McNamara were recently recognized by Who’s Who Legal as among the leading lawyers worldwide in their respective fields. Ms. Friedman was named in The International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers 2006, and Mr. McNamara was selected for The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators 2006.


April 2006

13 Davis Graham & Stubbs Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

Thirteen lawyers at Davis Graham & Stubbs law firm have been named Super Lawyers by their peers in Colorado. Law & Politics magazine polled active Colorado lawyers for nominations to identify the best attorneys in more than 55 practice areas based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers involves an attorney-led research process for a diverse listing of the top lawyers from private practice, in-house counsel and the public sector in different geographic locations. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each region are listed in Colorado Super Lawyers, co-published by Law & Politics and 5280 magazine.


March 2006

Impact of the Restructuring of the Electric Power Industry on Oil, Gas, Coal, and Other Mineral Producers

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute

The electric power industry is being restructured to give consumers access to competitively priced power. While transmission and distribution of electric power remain a natural monopoly, sufficient competition among the generation sector has developed. Accordingly, on March 4, 1997, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 8881 to restructure the wholesale power market to enable wholesale customers to realize the benefits of such competition.


October 2005

Surface-Use Regulation of Federal Oil and Gas Leases: Exploring the Limit of Administrative Discretion

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute

Co-authors: Charles L. Kaiser and Scott W. Hardt

The tools by which land management agencies regulate oil and gas activities on federal lands are long-standing. Oil and gas leases issued immediately after enactment of the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) in 1920 contained stipulations that restricted oil and gas activities on leased lands. The first set of federal oil and gas regulations, promulgated within months after MLA enactment, established an "Application for Permit to Drill" (APD) procedure that required lessees to notify the federal government before they could drill wells on leased lands. And by the summer of 1920, lessees were obligated, through a process much like that of present day "sundry notices," to notify the federal government before they could undertake a variety of oil and gas activities on their leases.


April 2005

Amendment to Federal Gas Valuation Rules

On February 24, 2005, Governor Freudenthal signed Enrolled Act 45 (Original Senate File 60),Wyoming’s new “split estates”act. It will be codified at Wyo. Stat. §§ 30-5-401 through 30-5-410. The Act becomes effective on July 1, 2005. However, it will not apply to surface use agreements, consents, regulatory approvals and judicial orders in effect prior to July 1, 2005.


Wyoming Supreme Court Determines Point of Valuation for CBM Production Under Severance Tax Statutes

The MMS has approved a final rule amending the valuation for royalty purposes of gas produced from federal leases. The rule primarily affects the calculation of transportation deductions and will be effective June 1, 2005. See 70 Fed. Reg. 11870 (March 10, 2005).


Wyoming's New "Split Estates" Act

On February 24, 2005,Governor Freudenthal signed Enrolled Act 45 (Original Senate File 60),Wyoming’s new “split estates”act. It will be codified at Wyo. Stat. §§ 30-5-401 through 30-5-410. The Act becomes effective on July 1, 2005. However, it will not apply to surface use agreements, consents, regulatory approvals and judicial orders in effect prior to July 1, 2005.


November 2004

A Comparative Review of Oil & Gas Law in Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Utah

Landman: Signature Publication of AAPL

Co-authors: George Snell, Craig Newman, Brian Bjella, Greg Danielson, Ann Eastburn, and Angela Franklin

Read Review

August 2012

The Perfect Oil and Gas Lease: Why Bother

50 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. (2004)

June 2004

Recent Air Regulatory Changes in Colorado Affecting the Oil & Gas Industry

Presented to the Natural Resources & Energy Section of the Colorado Bar Association

Proposed New Rules for Shell Companies

Wall Street Lawyer

On April 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued proposed rules “designed to protect investors by deterring fraud and abuse in our securities markets through the use of shell companies.”1


February 2004

Securing and Maintaining Surface Access on Federal

Proceedings for the Fifty-Fifth Annual Institture on Oil and Gas Law

Co-authors: Scot W. Anderson and Jon Tjornehoj

There are approximately 2.5 billion surface acres in the United States.1  The surface of the United States is owned by individuals, companies, cities, counties, states, Native American tribes, and the United States itself.


October 2003

OSHA Initiative in the Oil Patch

Safety is an integral part of oil field operations. However, most companies rarely experience an actual investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") or equivalent state agencies. This is due to a number of factors, including (1) the absence of industry-specific OSHA regulations; (2) the geographically broad nature of exploration and production ("E&P") activities; and (3) OSHA's recent practice of handling most complaints through notice letters.


July 2001

Regulation without Rulemaking: The Force and Authority of Informal Agency Action

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute

Executive agencies routinely provide direction to the regulated community concerning how that community should act. This direction sometimes come in the form of published rules promulgated through notice and comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Agencies also provide further guidance to regulated parties through means far less formal than APA rulemaking. Employees of the agencies answer questions over the telephone. Agencies may issue handbooks to its employees designed to guide them in the application of the agency’s regulations. Agencies issue opinion letters and policy statements. Agencies sometimes issue guidance documents that are far more detailed than the original published regulations.


November 1999

In Search of the Ideal Gas Law: Gas Supply in the New Market

IFR Financing Power Projects in Europe

Scot W. Anderson

For an Ideal Gas, the absolute pressure (P) of the Ideal Gas multiplied by its volume (V) is equal to the number of moles of the Ideal Gas (n) multiplied by the absolute temperature of the Ideal Gas (T) and a constant (R). The Ideal Gas Law, then, is PV= nRT.


May 1998

Due Diligence for the Purchase of Pipeline Systems

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's Rights-of-Way How Right is Your Right-of-Way?

February 1992

Title Examination of State and Federal Lands

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's Mineral Title Examination III