Attorneys

Damian J. Arguello
Partner
303.892.7411
Joel O. Benson
Partner
303.892.7470
Adam S. Cohen
Partner
303.892.7321
Gregory R. Danielson
Partner
303.892.7438
Radcliffe Dann IV
Partner
303.892.7453
William J. Duffy
Partner
303.892.7372
Roger L. Freeman
Partner
303.892.7414
John R. Jacus
Partner
303.892.7305
Lamont Larsen
Partner
303.892.7473
Judith M. Matlock
Partner
303.892.7380
Zach C. Miller
Partner
303.892.7391
David Neslin
Partner
303.892.7401
Christopher Richardson
Partner
303.892.7420
Laura J. Riese
Partner
303.892.7454
Constance L. Rogers
Partner
303.892.7480
Shannon Wells Stevenson
Partner
303.892.7328
Andrea Wang
Partner
303.892.7423
Gail L. Wurtzler
Partner
303.892.7405
Eugene A. Lang, Jr.
Of Counsel
303.892.7498
Dean C. Miller
Of Counsel
303.892.7389
Milam Randolph Pharo
Of Counsel
303.892.7263
Nicole M. Abbott
Associate
303.892.7466
Anastasia D. Carter
Associate
303.892.7275
Michael C. Eden
Associate
303.892.7255
Mave A. Gasaway
Associate
303.892.7407
Matt Hartford
Associate
303.892.7212
Chelsea L. Huffman
Associate
303.892.7491
Anna-Liisa Mullis
Associate
303.892.7277
Josh Neely
Associate
303.892.7442
Greg Nibert
Associate
303.892.7371
Sam Niebrugge
Associate
303.892.7433
Lori Taylor
Associate
303.892.7384
Eric Waeckerlin
Associate
303.892.7350
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 of oil and gas industry disputes, including federal and state governmental enforcement cases. Our oil and gas lawyers work with clients in the legal aspects of oil and gas exploration, operation, production, sales, transportation, refining, and financing. In addition, we handle acquisitions and divestitures of both producing and nonproducing oil and gas and mining assets. Combined with other natural resources lawyers and the broader group of tax, corporate, regulatory, environmental, public lands, and litigation lawyers who are experienced in oil and gas matters, DGS offers one of the strongest oil and gas practices in the U.S. 

We represent a diverse group of clients in the oil and gas industry, including geophysical companies, exploration geologists, drilling companies, oil and gas lessees, mineral owners, operators, producers, pipeline companies, refiners, suppliers, major banks and other institutional lenders, and investors. These clients range from individuals, partnerships, independents, and small companies to major joint ventures and Fortune 500 companies. Many of our clients are foreign, including companies based in Canada, France, Germany, England, Japan, and Australia. We also assist U.S. clients with activities in numerous foreign countries. 

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, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Our extensive title experience allows DGS to provide an experienced and efficient title due diligence team in dealing with oil and gas acquisition and divestiture transactions.

Exploration, Production, & Development

DGS represents clients before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to obtain orders establishing spacing and forced pooling. We have worked closely with our real estate group to deal with conflicts between our oil and gas clients and city and county governments.

We have also negotiated with numerous real estate developers to resolve conflicts with housing subdivisions. 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. Our oil and gas and public lands lawyers have extensive experience dealing 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 promote the efficient delivery of legal services, we have assisted our clients in preparing specific forms tailored to a particular region or exploration project that can be used by the land department with minimal additional review by the in-house legal department. These forms include letters of intent, purchase agreements, and oil and gas lease forms.

Acquisitions, Divestitures, & Financing

DGS brings a multidisciplinary approach to all phases of acquisitions, divestitures, and financing in the oil and gas industry. We represent oil and gas companies, major banks and other lending institutions involved in the financing of oil and gas operations 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 the drafting, review, and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements and the coordination of all aspects of the due diligence including stand-up title examination.

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 due diligence plan that is specific to a particular transaction, preparing checklists and forms for the due diligence team (both lawyers and non-lawyers) to implement the due diligence plan and gather information in a uniform format, and working with clients to modify the due diligence plan if new issues are uncovered. Given the typically short timeframes involved in most due diligence, as appropriate we work with local landmen, environmental consultants, attorneys and others to identify unique local issues and to implement parts of the due diligence plan. However, in those situations we coordinate and monitor the due diligence team throughout the process. We have found that this approach streamlines and expedites the due diligence process. 

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, 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, and, in light of on-going litigation around the country, review 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. Due diligence is headed up by our oil and gas group partners who have over 24 years of experience each representing the oil and gas industry.

Gas Marketing & Transportation

We have a wide variety of experience in handling all aspects of oil and gas transportation, treatment, processing, and sales. We practice before the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission and state public utilities commissions in gas and electric restructuring proceedings and other types of proceedings. We also have nationally recognized expertise in dealing with gas contracting issues.

Royalty & Mineral Tax Payment Issues

DGS has great depth of experience dealing with royalty and mineral production tax assessment disputes. Our trial lawyers are defending several class action royalty suits in Colorado and Wyoming. While we have vigorously defended our clients in these royalty and production tax disputes, we have also used our extensive experience dealing with gas marketing issues to extract our clients from 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’ class counsel 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.

Midstream Services

DGS represents oil and gas companies in connection with their midstream activities involving crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.  We negotiate 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/public service statutes and regulations.  We have attorneys with experience in practicing before state public utility/public service commissions who can assist companies in connection with corridor certificates, tariff approvals, rate cases, pipeline safety, and other matters.  We can also assist companies in requesting temporary waivers under the Interstate Commerce Act and other FERC-related matters.  We have experience in pipeline rights-of-way, including BLM rights-of-way under the Mineral Leasing Act; environmental regulation of pipelines and other oil and gas facilities; due diligence in connection with the acquisition of midstream assets; and mediation, arbitration, and litigation involving contract, environmental, and other disputes.  

September 2014

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.

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.

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.

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

Co-Presenter

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

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.

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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."

45 DGS Attorneys Named Best Lawyers®

Forty-five DGS attorneys were named Best Lawyers® by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in its annual guide recognizing legal excellence.

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.

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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).

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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October 2011

Access to Leasehold

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

Co-Presenter

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.

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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.

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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.

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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
changes.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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