Colorado land board delays OK of $137M ConocoPhillips lease at Lowry over lawsuit

Map Showing Old Lowry Bombing Range

Cathy Proctor -Reporter – Denver Business Journal – Feb 3, 2012

The Colorado State Land Board    decided Friday to postpone a vote on awarding ConocoPhillips a contract to access oil and gas mineral rights under the Lowry range east of Denver because the company is embroiled in a $70.7 million lawsuit with another branch of state government.

On Jan. 25, the Division of Oil and Public Safety, a division of Colorado’s Department of Labor, sued Houston-based Conoco (NYSE: COP) in Denver district court.

The suit accuses the company of benefitting from the state spending nearly $70.7 million to pay to clean up contamination caused by leaking fuel storage tanks formerly owned by Conoco across the state.

Conoco had told the state it didn’t expect to receive any money to pay for the cleanup from outside sources, and then didn’t tell the state when the company settled with its insurance providers for $286 million, according to the lawsuit.

Two days later, on Jan. 27, the land board announced it had reached a tentative agreement with Conoco to lease the company more than 21,000 acres of mineral rights under the old Lowry bombing range east of Denver.

Continue reading story at The Denver Business Journal

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