Beatty & Wozniak’s Litigation Practice Group has extensive experience representing exploration and production companies, midstream pipeline companies, marketing companies and downstream companies in all aspects of energy-related litigation. Our attorneys understand the energy industry and have successfully resolved claims and lawsuits arising under: confidentiality agreements, seismic licenses and permits, oil and gas leases, farm-in and farm-out agreements, asset purchase and sale agreements, drilling contracts, master service agreements, joint exploration agreements, joint operating agreements, royalty disputes, facilities engineering and construction contracts, gathering contracts, processing contracts, marketing agreements, asset management agreements, and downstream transportation agreements.
We also have successfully resolved claims alleging trespass and drainage to subsurface reservoirs, and have defeated numerous challenges by municipalities, environmental groups and other non-governmental organizations to our clients’ lease purchases, development plans, permit applications, and ongoing operations. Our attorneys have appeared in state and federal courts in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia, and in regulatory proceedings before various state, federal, and tribal administrative agencies. This representation includes subsequent appellate court proceedings.
Beatty & Wozniak’s litigation attorneys are also involved in counseling, regarding best management practices, and in assisting its clients in the resolution of legal disputes prior to the commencement of litigation.
General Oil and Gas and Energy Litigation. Our attorneys focus on all aspects of oil and gas, geothermal, and energy disputes in both federal and state courts. We represent clients with claims involving oil and gas and geothermal leases, purchase and sale agreements, independent contractor agreements, permitting, reservoir drainage, nuisance and trespass issues, and exploration, development, and production issues, including but not limited to joint operating agreements, option agreements, royalty disputes, and implied covenants to prevent drainage, of reasonable development, and good faith and fair dealing. Our attorneys represent clients whose natural resource production is alleged to have caused pollution of water wells and physical injuries to nearby landowners. Our attorneys have successfully filed for temporary and permanent restraining orders against surface owners who deny access to our client’s leased minerals. Our representation continues through the appellate process, as required.
Midstream and Royalty Disputes. Our attorneys represent operators in midstream and royalty disputes in both federal and state courts and federal and state regulatory agencies. These multi-million and multi-billion dollar disputes include RICO claims, claims under the False Claim Act, claims before the FERC under the Natural Gas Act, and class action lawsuits alleging gas mismeasurement and the payment of reduced royalties.
State and Local Regulations and Ordinances. Beatty & Wozniak represents its energy industry clients in state court challenges to local ordinances implemented by towns and counties in excess of their statutory authority that are preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Act.
Recently, state courts have dismissed underpayments of royalty cases when the oil and gas lease is not subject to judicial interpretation because the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has retained exclusive jurisdiction in these cases. Beatty & Wozniak attorneys represent operators before the COGCC, and are litigating this jurisdictional question in state court.
Our attorneys are involved in litigation regarding landowner challenges to properly implemented “Produced Nontributary Ground Water” rules and regulations to assist the State Engineer with the administration of the dewatering of geologic formations during the mining of minerals.
Our attorneys file petitions before the Colorado State Engineer so that energy industry clients may obtain a determination of non-tributary groundwater for oil and gas wells that are not located within one of the previously designated non-tributary groundwater areas by State Engineer rulemaking.
Beatty & Wozniak represents energy industry clients in State of Colorado Department of Revenue administrative proceedings regarding severance and sales tax matters, and in Board of Assessment Appeals administrative proceedings regarding valuation of personal property (equipment) by Colorado counties, as well as the appeal of these matters to the District Court for the City and County of Denver, and Colorado’s appellate courts.
Federal Lands. Our attorneys routinely represent companies in federal court and administrative litigation before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and Forest Service, defending against legal challenges related to federal leasing, seismic survey permits, oil and gas development projects, and drilling permits. They also work with clients confronted with federal investigation and enforcement proceedings.