Oil & Gas


Surface Use Agreements

As oil and gas development ensues, you may be approached with a surface use agreement granting rights to your property for well pads,  compression stations, tank batteries, pump jacks or related oil and gas infrastructure.  Additionally, access through your property to the oil and gas facilities is also an essential component of any surface use agreement.  Oil and gas facilities and associated roads may persist on your property for many years and it’s important to have a detailed and thorough surface use agreement defining an operator’s rights to your property.  Placement of oil and gas facilities near livestock ponds or within irrigated circles may raise specific issues for your operations that need extra safeguards within a surface use agreement.  If you utilize GPS on your farming operations or have a no-till operation,  Keller Law, LLC attorneys are familiar with these operations and can assist you in integrating protections to the same within a surface use agreement.  With an eye toward maximizing your return whether it be minimizing intrusions or maximizing financial compensation, Keller Law is well versed in the ins and outs of surface use agreements for farmers and ranchers to assist you through the process.

Oil and Gas Leasing

The first step for most in the ownership of oil and gas rights is the lease negotiation process.  In areas of rapid development, you may only have one chance to negotiate a lease which will subsequently be held by production for many years.  In other less active areas, the key may be to maximize bonus payments and termination of the lease upon no production to ensure the ability to lease to another operator that will develop your minerals.  Keller Law, LLC has negotiated hundreds of leases throughout Colorado. 

Mineral Title Questions

As a farm and ranch owner, you may have questions regarding ownership of your oil, gas, and mineral rights.  Our office can assist you in ascertaining whether or how much of your minerals your own, and options to procure other portions of the oil, gas, and mineral rights underlying your property.  

Reasonable Accommodation

When oil, gas, and mineral interests are severed, then the doctrine of reasonable accommodation is applicable as to the rights of the surface owner visa vie the oil and gas owner or lessee. In such instances, the priorities or objectives may clash.  If you are the surface owner and the operator is attempting to ascertain rights to your property that will negatively impact your operations, Keller Law can assist in navigating your rights and the reasonable accommodation doctrine.

Royalty Payment Issues

If you are not being properly paid royalties, there are options as a mineral owner.  Our firm can assist in reviewing and verifying your decimal interests, wells, and revenue detail statements, and pursue payment of delinquent or missing payments.  Additionally, our firm can help you file a COGCC complaint for non-payment or district court action to collect royalties.

Oil and Gas Funds in Suspense

Have you been approached by a landman from Noble Energy, Anadarko, or another oil and gas company telling you that you have funds in suspense?  Not sure where to start?  Keller Law provides full service from probate to releasing funds from suspense to your own planning.  Our firm is one of the few firms well equipped to handle probate issues to update ownership, ascertain the wells you should be paid on, and then assist with your own estate planning. While many attorneys may be able to provide one or more of these services, our firm can be your one-stop shop for all aspects of oil and gas ownership and planning issues.  If you have questions about how to prove that you are an heir or how to get to pay status, Keller Law can help.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Protests

Have you received an application for forced pooling or other notice?   Keller Law represents oil and gas mineral owners and landowners before the Oil and Gas Commission.  COGCC is an administrative arm of the state of Colorado and if you need assistance in determining whether to file a  protest or whether you need actual representation at a hearing, our firm can help you navigate that process.

Ownership of Oil and Gas Interests

Not sure about what you have?  Our firm can assist you in ascertaining what you own and what wells you should be being paid on.  As development in areas such as Weld County are on the uptick, it can be difficult to know what operator owes you royalties and whether you are being paid on each and every well in which you own an interest.  Keller Law can assist you in ascertaining what you own and what you should be paid on.

Severing and Reserving Oil and Gas Interests

Selling a property and wanting to reserve a portion of your oil and gas rights?  Buying a property and wanting to make sure you acquire the seller’s oil and gas rights? Seller subdividing but wanting to split the royalties, but multiple wells are involved? We routinely assist realtors and their clients in navigating oil and gas issues that would otherwise quash a deal.  There are many tools and options available to help buyers and sellers reach an agreement about the ownership of oil and gas rights, but make sure it’s done correctly and accomplishing the buyer’s or seller’s objectives.

Oil and Gas Pipeline Easements

With increased oil and gas production,  you may also be approached with an offer for an oil and gas pipeline easement.  It is important to know your rights when approached with an easement including whether the company has condemning or eminent domain powers.  While agents may tell you that the easement is their standard form, it is rarely advantageous to sign their standard form.  Pipeline easements may last for your entire lifetime if not longer and it’s important to ensure that your property is protected or that you are paid properly for damages to your property.  Don’t succumb to high press  sales tactics or even the friendly leasing agent, let Keller Law can  help you navigate the fine print of a pipeline easement including

  1. Price per rod or foot;
  2. Number of pipelines and their width;
  3. Associated pipeline infrastructure;
  4. Width of the pipeline easement;
  5. Alternate sitting requests;
  6. Construction time periods;
  7. Permitted above ground items;
  8. Depth of pipelines;
  9. Tax consequences and treatment of proceeds;
  10. Reclamation and restoration of your property;
  11. Damages to trees, building, improvements, and crops; and
  12. Liability related issues.

Noise Violations from Oil and Gas Operations

A rural landscape or rural ranchette living is intended to afford the peace and quiet of our rural America.  If oil and gas activity is intruding on your quiet space, our firm can assist in assessing your options to address noise issues from oil and gas development.

Quiet Title of Oil, Gas, and Mineral Interests

Reservation or severing of oil and gas interests over the years may be artfully done at times.  As subsequent deeds are made, the need may arise for a quiet title to correct or perfect certain interests in oil,  gas, and mineral rights.  Additionally, old abandonment lease interests may cloud your title preventing you from leasing.  A quiet title can often be utilized to remove the encumbrance on your title and allow you to lease to a new operator.