Appeals Court reverses lawsuit against Anadarko Petroleum

The Denver Federal Appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling which originally said Anadarko E and P Onshore did not trespass when it drilled several wells on a Colorado farmer’s land.

In effect, the court ruled the Houston-based company did in fact trespass on farmland owned by Marvin and Mildred Bay in Weld County, Colorado.

The lawsuit by the Bays stemmed from agreements they previously had with Union Pacific which owned the mineral rights. Union Pacific  agreed to pay for surface property damage including damages to crops. But in 2000 when Anadarko bought Union Pacific’s mineral rights in the Wattenberg Field, it discontinued the practice.

The Bays sought to have directional wells drilled on their land so it would reduce the surface impact. But Anadarko demanded $100,000 per well for the direction drilling, something the Bays refused to pay. The company eventually drilled seven separate wells on the farmland and the Bays, in a lawsuit, claims it constitutes a trespass.

In its ruling, the U.S. 10th Circuit ordered the case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

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