BEFORE THE OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO
IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUESTED ) CAUSE NO. 1
STAY OF THE DRILLING PERMIT ISSUED )
TO AMOCO PRODUCTION COMPANY, ) ORDER NO. 1-95
LA PLATA COUNTY, COLORADO ) CORRECTED
This cause came on for hearing before the Commission at 8:30 a.m. on April 23, 2001, in Suite 801, the Chancery Building, 1120 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado, after giving Notice of hearing as required by law, on the application of Thunderhead Investments, Inc. for an order to stay the construction and drilling of the Neva Dove Gas Unit A #2 Well until all issues with regards to the location of the well are resolved and determined.
The Commission finds as follow:
1. Thunderhead Investments, Inc. (“Thunderhead”), as applicant herein, is an interested party in the subject matter of the above-referenced hearing.
2. Due notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing has been given in all respects as required by law.
3. The Commission has jurisdiction over the subject matter embraced in said notice and the parties interested therein, and jurisdiction to promulgate the hereinafter prescribed order.
4. On December 18, 2000, Amoco Production Company (“Amoco”) submitted an Application for Permit-to-Drill (“APD”) for the Neva Dove Gas Unit A #2 Well (the “Well”) to be located in the SE¼ SW¼ of Section 1, Township 34 North, Range 7 West, N.M.P.M. Because no surface use agreement had been executed with surface owner Thunderhead, an onsite inspection was conducted by Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) staff in accordance with Commission Order No. 112-56. During the January 27, 2001 onsite inspection, Thunderhead proposed an alternate location for the well. COGCC staff determined that Thunderhead’s suggested location did not meet safety setback requirements. Thunderhead proposed several other alternate locations that were turned down due to correlative rights concerns. On March 2, 2001, Amoco’s Application for Permit-to-Drill (“APD”) the Well was approved.
5. On March 6, 2001, Thunderhead, by its attorney, filed with the Commission an application requesting a stay on the construction and drilling of the Neva Dove Gas Unit A #2 Well until all issues with regard to the location of the well are resolved and determined.
6. On March 13, 2001, Amoco, by its attorneys, filed a Protest and Motion to Dismiss in related Cause No. 112, Docket No. 0104-EX-01, request by Thunderhead that an exception location be granted for the Neva Dove Gas Unit A #2 Well to be drilled at a location other than the previously permitted location.
7. On March 19, 2001, Amoco’s attorneys filed with the Commission an Entry of Appearance in this matter
8. On April 20, 2001, Amoco, by its attorneys, filed with the Commission a Protest claiming Thunderhead’s application is without merit and requesting the application be denied. In addition, Amoco filed an Objection and Motion for Protective Order stating its objection to Thunderhead’s requested discovery and its request for the issuance of a order requiring Thunderhead to obtain leave of the Commission prior to such discovery being propounded upon Amoco.
9. At the hearing, Thunderhead argued that its request to stay the construction and drilling of the Well should be granted to avoid unnecessary and irreparable injury to the surface owner’s real property interests, and that the stay should remain in effect until all substantive issues can be brought before the Commission for resolution.
10. At the hearing, Thunderhead objected to participation in this matter by Amoco on the grounds that Amoco had not filed a timely protest to the application.
11. At the hearing, Amoco argued that a written protest was filed with the Commission three (3) days prior to the hearing in accordance with §34-60-108.(7), C.R.S. In addition, Amoco believed the protest filed on March 13, 2001 in Cause No. 112, Docket No. 0104-EX-01 also pertained to this matter in light of Thunderhead’s request to consolidate both applications.
12. At the time of the hearing, the Commission granted Amoco the right to participate in the hearing.
13. At the hearing, Amoco indicated it did not intend to drill the Well until the federal court decision on Amoco’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
14. The Commission finds that no evidence has been presented to indicate an emergency situation exists or that the drilling of the Well will constitute a threat to the environment or public health, safety, and welfare. The Commission should deny the request for a stay of the construction and drilling of the Well.
15. Upon requests by Thunderhead and Amoco for clarification as to the remainder of Thunderhead’s application, the Commission finds that no evidence has been presented to indicate that the Rule 508.j.(3)b. conditions placed on the APD for the Well do not meet those conditions contained in Order No. 112-156. The Commission finds that it does not have jurisdiction over the claim of irreparable harm to surface property rights. The Commission finds that Thunderhead’s application is a request to resolve a surface owner dispute over which the Commission has no jurisdiction. The Commission finds that Thunderhead is not a party that could be adversely affected and aggrieved in a manner that is within the Commission’s jurisdiction to resolve.
16. The Commission should grant Amoco’s request to deny the application.
NOW THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED, that the application filed by Thunderhead Investment, Inc. for an order to stay the construction and drilling of the Neva Dove Gas Unit A #2 Well until all issues with regard to the location of the well are resolved and determined is hereby denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that all other matters raised in the application filed by Thunderhead Investment, Inc. are hereby dismissed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the provisions contained in the above order shall become effective forthwith.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Commission expressly reserves its right, after notice and hearing, to alter, amend or repeal any and/or all of the above orders.
ENTERED this 2nd day of May 2001, as of April 23, 2001.
CORRECTED this ________ day of May 2001, as of April 23, 2001.
OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO
Patricia C. Beaver, Secretary
Dated at Suite 801
1120 Lincoln Street
Denver, Colorado 80203
May 8, 2001