Colorado Addressing Mineral Owners’ Issues

by Elizabeth Alford on September 24, 2017

Colorado legislators met last week at the state capital for an Energy Summit to discuss key issues facing mineral rights owners.

Colorado Attempts to Limit Forced Pooling

Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Lori Saine hosted one of three informal meetings designed to get stakeholders to the sit down and discuss best practices and possible rule changes from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

One of the topics to receive a great deal of attention was forced pooling. Specifically, the COGCC ruling that gives mineral owners 35 days notice of a forced pooling hearing. Many feel this isn’t enough time to prepare and that some people aren’t even aware of their ownership status.

Other discussions at the summit revolved around the role of the COGCC , that works to balance the development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources with protecting the public health. Detractors say that the agency has regulations and procedures that aren’t in writing, causing undue confusion.

“COGCC’s charge is not to protect mineral rights owners. Their charge is to efficiently get the minerals out of the ground. The difference between COGCC and legislators (is that) it’s a body that protects individual and property rights.” – Broomfield City Council member Mike Shelton

Earlier this year, lawmakers introduced legislation that would bring additional restrictions on the practice of forced pooling. HB17-1336 would require that at least a majority of the royalty interest owners must join in the application before the commission can enter a forced pooling order.  Other restrictions include:

  • Operators will be required to give the mineral interest owners a clearly stated, concise, neutral explanation of the laws governing forced pooling
  • Operators must file an electronic report with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission showing the number of owners who were forced pooled and the percentage of land that was forced pooled in the given area.
  •  Notice of the hearing must be given at least 90 days before the hearing is to take place.


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