Amended Complaint Filed in WOGc v. COGCC Forced Pooling Constitutional Rights Case

WOGc Also Protesting United South Forced Pooling by Extraction

On April 15, Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee (WOGc) filed an amended complaint in federal court for WOGc v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), the federal forced pooling constitutional rights case that was first filed on January 23.  You can read the amended complaint filed by WOGc Attorney Joe Salazar here

The amended complaint includes supporting details from the COGCC hearing on March 12, including quotes from the COGCC Commissioners themselves about “the pooling statute being of a different age” and the lack of evidence provided by Extraction of fair and reasonable lease offers.  A section in the Amended Complaint on “The Rule of Capture” describes why it no longer applies to hydraulic fracturing of non-transient minerals.  WOGc contends the COGCC did not give them a full hearing where its concerns about health, safety, welfare and financial viability of Extraction were heard, as ordered by Judge R. Brooke Jackson in this case on February 12. 

The State defendants in the case have 14 days to reply to the amended complaint, placing their response on or before Monday, April 29th.  In the last court appearance on March 26, COGA (Colorado Oil and Gas Association) and API (American Petroleum Institute) were granted the right to intervene by Judge Jackson. 

As construction continues on the Livingston Pad, Judge Jackson’s order that no drilling take place before June 1 still stands.  Extraction’s April timeline shows that drilling will not occur until at least June 1.  Extraction has begun drilling on ten Interchange B wells and this must be completed before drilling can begin on the Livingston Pad, according to the Operator Agreement between the City and Extraction.     

WOGc also filed a forced pooling protest on March 25 on behalf of members who are mineral owners in the United South spacing unit (Docket Number 190400289).  This protest was initially set to be heard at the April 29 & 30 hearings but has been delayed until the June 17 & 18 hearings by the COGCC hearing officer due to the protest.  WOGc Attorney Kate Merlin has already had communications with the COGCC and Extraction on this protest.  This hearing should reflect the changes to the mission of the COGCC to ‘regulate’ oil and gas development in a way that prioritizes health and safety after the passage of SB19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations.

The forced pooling hearing for Huron South mineral owners (Interchange A & B Pad) is on the May 21 & 22 COGCC docket (Docket Number 190400292).  There are indications that the forced pooling of the Sheridan South spacing unit, including McKay Landing residents, may be on the June 17 & 18 COGCC docket (see map, mostly containing United Pad wells).  Mineral owners in Sheridan South who have not signed a lease offer and want to discuss their options can contact WOGc at wildgrassogc@gmail.com.