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Balcomb & Green, P.C., A Full Service Law Firm.
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Federal Oil and Gas Lessee in Garfield County has Standing to Claim Prescriptive Easement Over Private Property


Posted on 1/6/2014 by Chad Lee
In an opinion issued January 2, 2014 the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that a federal oil and gas lessee in Garfield County had standing to assert a prescriptive easement over private property traversed to access the federal lease. Maralex Resources, Inc. v. Chamberlain, Public Trustee of Garfield County overturned the Garfield County District Court’s holding that an oil and gas lessee did not have standing to bring an adverse possession suit. This ruling was based on traditional common law landlord-tenant principles.

A mineral lease, however, is no ordinary lease. It is both a conveyance of a portion of the mineral estate to the lessee, as well as a contractual relationship between a mineral owner (lessor) and an oil and gas company (lessee). Colorado, as well as most Western states, characterizes an oil and gas lease as more of a conveyance of real property, than a mere lease. In Colorado, oil and gas lessees have the right (and the duty) to explore for, and remove, minerals from the lessor’s land. Thus, an oil and gas lessee holds a sufficient real property interest to have standing to bring an adverse possession suit claiming a prescriptive easement. The opinion is available here.

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Balcomb & Green, P.C. Locations
Glenwood Springs Office

818 Colorado Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Office: (970) 945-6546 / (800) 836-5928 Fax: 970.945.8902
Aspen Office

133 Prospector Rd, Suite 4102E
Aspen, CO 81611
Office: (970) 945-6546 / (800) 836-5928
Basalt Office (The Myler Law Firm)

211 Midland Ave, Suite 201
Basalt, CO 81621
Office: (970) 927-0456


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Balcomb & Green, P.C., 818 Colorado Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601 - Related Terms: attorney Glenwood Springs CO• lawyer Glenwood Springs CO• attorney Glenwood Springs CO• (970) 945-9377• www.balcombgreen.com• 11/21/2017