Boulder County files lawsuit against Crestone Peak, Extraction subsidiary

BOULDER — For the second time in less than a month, Boulder County has taken legal action in an attempt to block new oil and gas drilling activities in the county.

The county filed suit Tuesday against Crestone Peak Resources and 8 North LLC, a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas.

The suits, both filed in Boulder County District Court, seek to prohibit the companies from drilling nearly 200 proposed wells on county-owned land and private properties protected by county conservation easements.

The oil and gas operators are “not entitled to undertake the large-scale development (they propose) because it is violating the terms of multiple oil and gas leases, and because it is illegally interfering with conservation easements owned by Boulder County,” according to the lawsuit complaint.

The county argues that the plans to install well pads on conservation easements violate statutes that prohibit “someone from injuring or destroying conservation values” under easement protection, according to a Boulder County news release.

“Crestone said they picked these locations in part because the surface has not been developed,” Boulder County Commissioner Cindy Domenico said in a prepared statement. “The county bought land and conservation easements to preserve agricultural and scenic values, not to hold the land open for massive drilling sites.”

Boulder County’s complaint also alleges that 8 North has breached the terms of several mineral rights leases.

“The nature of oil and gas drilling has changed dramatically in recent years, resulting in intensive, large-scale surface impacts to enable multi-mile long directional drilling,” Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones said in a prepared statement. “Those old leases didn’t envision that the property could be harmed by a multi-well mega-pad used to frack minerals located miles away.”

These new suits come on the heels of legal action taken by the county Aug. 31. At that time the county, along with the city of Lafayette, sued the Colorado Oil & Gas Commission and 8 North LLC.

The lawsuit appeals the COGCC’s approval of 8 North’s application for drilling and spacing units and additional well density in two areas of eastern Boulder County.

The county claims that the COGCC made numerous errors in approving the applications. One complaint is that 8 North did not adequately establish that it owns the mineral rights it claims to have.

BOULDER — For the second time in less than a month, Boulder County has taken legal action in an attempt to block new oil and gas drilling activities in the county.

The county filed suit Tuesday against Crestone Peak Resources and 8 North LLC, a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas.

The suits, both filed in Boulder County District Court, seek to prohibit the companies from drilling nearly 200 proposed wells on county-owned land and private properties protected by county conservation easements.

The oil and gas operators are “not entitled to undertake the large-scale development (they propose) because it is violating the terms of multiple oil and gas leases, and because it is illegally interfering with conservation easements owned by Boulder County,” according to the lawsuit complaint.

The county argues that the plans to install well pads on conservation easements violate statutes that prohibit “someone from injuring or destroying conservation values” under easement protection, according to a Boulder County news release.

“Crestone said they picked these locations in part because the surface has not been developed,” Boulder County Commissioner Cindy Domenico said in a prepared statement. “The county bought land and conservation easements to preserve agricultural and scenic values, not to hold the land open for massive drilling sites.”

Boulder County’s complaint also alleges that 8 North has breached the terms of several mineral rights leases.

“The nature of oil and gas drilling has changed dramatically in recent years, resulting in intensive, large-scale surface impacts to enable multi-mile long directional drilling,”…