Oil and gas driller Crestone Peak Resources on Monday claimed victory in a year-long legal battle with Boulder County in Colorado.
A district judge dismissed the last of the remaining claims in a lawsuit filed by the county in September 2018, according to a Crestone news release.
The countylawsuit was an attempt to stop Crestone’s plans to bore more than 100 wells on three separate drilling pads along Colo. 52 north of Erie by alleging four of the mineral rights leases the company was using to establish its right to drill had expired or been violated.
Those claims were the only ones on which the county proceeded after 20 more civil allegations against the company were dismissed by the court in February because they were considered premature, since Crestone has yet to receive state approval for its drilling plans.
“Boulder County filed suit against us just days before a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing where our comprehensive drilling plan was to receive a final decision at the state level, a hearing that has been continually postponed as a result,” Crestone Director of External Affairs Jason Oates stated in the release. “We’re pleased the court has ended these delay tactics by dismissing the last of the remaining claims by Boulder County, and finding that (Boulder County’s) claims were groundless and frivolous. We remain focused on the path forward toward approval of the comprehensive drilling plan.”
County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday.
The court previously ruled two of the county’s claims were “frivolous and groundless,” and stated there is evidence to believe those allegations were made “in bad faith,” the company said. The court awarded Crestone its attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount to be determined at a hearing in January, the company release stated.
The company release said an independent study found Crestone’s development plan could bring $398 million in tax benefits to the public, including nearly $100 million to Boulder County, more than $240 million to local schools, more than $6 million to water districts and another $50 million to Mountain View Fire District. Crestone also has committed to cap more than 100 existing wells “using the latest technology to minimize the risk aging wells may pose to health, safety and the environment,” the release stated.
Source: Daily Camera