State Supreme Court refuses to hear Williams’ appeal in royalty lawsuit
Post Independent Staff
A mineral rights owner won her lawsuit against a natural gas producer this week when the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal.
The court’s decision put an end to a lawsuit filed by Joan Savage of Rifle against Williams, one of Garfield County’s largest gas producers.
Savage first filed the suit against Barrett Resources in 1998. In 2001, Williams bought out Barrett and inherited the suit.
Savage has maintained that the company was not paying her the appropriate amount of royalties on natural gas wells Williams drilled on land where she holds the mineral rights.
Savage has extensive mineral holdings between Rifle and Rulison.
In particular, Savage contended that Williams was deducting from her royalty payments, which amounts to 12.5 percent of profits from the sale of gas from a well, to cover the cost of conditioning and transporting gas to market.
She also asserted that Williams was charging her for the gas fuel it used to power the conditioning plant that removed hydrocarbon compounds and water from the gas before it enters the pipeline.
She said Williams owes her back royalties “in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
In 2004, Ninth Judicial Court Judge Thomas Ossola “ruled in her favor,” said Parachute accountant Mary Ellen Denomy, who also works for Savage.
Williams took its case to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of Savage in October of last year.
“The decision is now final, and we are prepared to pay the judgment with interest on the disallowed deductions under the terms of her oil and gas leases,” said Williams spokeswoman Susan Alvillar. “The gathering deductions which the District Court denied us on and basically the Supreme Court refused to hear, we quit taking those in 2001 when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in another case involving a different producer.”
With the final court ruling on the case, Williams is ready to move on.
“There was a disagreement, and now it’s been settled,” Alvillar said.
Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510
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