Entek GRB, LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC, No. 13-1172 (10th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The dispute between the parties in this case centered over mineral rights. Stull Ranches, LLC operated a grouse hunting business on its surface estate in rural Colorado. Entek GRB, LLC leased the right to explore and develop the minerals under much of Stull’s surface and adjoining surface estates from the federal government. This dispute arose when Entek asked permission to enter Stull’s surface estate (both to develop new oil well sites on Stull’s land and to get at one of its existing wells located on an adjacent surface estate owned by the Bureau of Land Management). Along the way, Entek pointed out that the only available road to the well on BLM’s estate crossed Stull’s land. Concerned that Entek’s presence would unsettle its grouse, Stull refused access. Entek sued to gain access. The district court held that Entek was entitled to access portions of Stull’s surface to mine certain leases lying below. But the court also held that Entek was entitled to no more than this - in particular, Entek could not cross Stull’s surface to service the well on the adjacent BLM land. Entek appealed, arguing to the Tenth Circuit that the district court erred by not granting it access to BLM lands. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit agreed that the district court in not granting Entek the relief it originally requested. The Court therefore vacated the grant of summary judgment in favor of Stull and remanded the case for further proceedings.