U.S. Attorney’s Office Resolves Mineral Trespass Investigation Against Colorado Oil and Gas Company
DENVER – SRC Energy, Inc., a Colorado-based oil and gas company, has agreed to pay $723,236 to resolve mineral trespass allegations regarding two oil and gas wells unlawfully drilled in Weld County, Colorado.
The United States contends that in 2014 and 2015, SRC drilled oil and gas wells into railroad right-of-way C668, and later removed federal minerals through those wells. The minerals beneath the railroad right-of-way were reserved to the United States. SRC failed to lease those minerals or seek permission from the Bureau of Land Management prior to drilling the wells. Because federal investigators believed this trespass was willful, the United States demanded the full value of 100% of the federal minerals extracted during the trespass period, without any offset for drilling or production costs.
“Protecting the public includes protecting our federal lands and federal mineral interests. Oil and gas companies must be careful not to take federal resources without permission. If they do, we will aggressively seek redress on behalf of the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.
Ron Gonzales, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General's Energy Investigations Unit, stated, “Our office is committed to work collaboratively and diligently with DOJ and our federal partners at the Department of Interior to ensure that revenues generated from public resources are accounted for on behalf of the American taxpayers.”
This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Wang.