Oil and gas condemnation hearing delayed | PostIndependent.com

Oil and gas condemnation hearing delayed

A gas drilling company’s effort to condemn a strip of private land near Silt, which was scheduled for a court hearing next week, has been delayed for an unknown amount of time.The condemnation action was filed by Antero Resources after the landowner, Bob Regulski, complained that Antero’s pipeline crews had improperly dug a trench for pipelines intended to carry gas, oil and water across Regulski’s land.According to Regulski, the company dug the trench outside a permanent easement he had sold to Antero, and put down a dangerously inadequate base upon which the pipelines were to rest.Regulski argued that the large rocks and boulders left in the trench would put unmanageable stress on the pipes and could cause them to rupture, spilling their potentially toxic contents.His arguments were supported by Garfield County’s building and planning department, when a building inspector slapped a “red tag” on the pipeline project in late September, halting all work until the deficiencies were remedied. Before work can resume, Antero must provide proof that the project is up to the pipeline manufacturer’s specifications as well as to county pipeline codes.Regulski’s attorney, Rob Gavrell of Worrell, Durrett & Jaynes, said the hearing date has been vacated to give Antero time to contact several other easement holders who might be affected by the condemnation action, and to serve those easement holders with copies of the condemnation petition.In the meantime, a temporary restraining order against Antero’s work crews remains in effect, as does the county’s stop-work order, and a hearing on Antero’s condemnation suit on Nov. 2-3 has been vacated. This is the second time a hearing on the matter has been vacated.In addition to his complaints about the pipeline in question, Regulski has asked the Garfield County commissioners to look into all of Antero’s pipeline projects around the county, to determine if others were installed in the same fashion as the one across his property.Garfield County has not responded to his request.A second lawsuit, filed by Regulski against Antero, accuses the company of fraud, moving survey stakes, misrepresentation and negligent construction, among other things.Gavrell said that case is continuing through the local courts.jcolson@postindependent.com

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