2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 34 - Mineral Resources
Oil and Natural Gas
Article 60 - Oil and Gas Conservation
§ 34-60-118.5. Payment of proceeds - definitions
(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Payee" means any person or persons legally entitled to payment from proceeds derived from the sale of oil, gas, or associated products from a well in Colorado, but shall not include those interests owned by the state of Colorado.
(b) "Payer" means the first purchaser of oil, gas, or associated products from a well in Colorado unless the first purchaser has entered into an agreement under which the operator of a well has accepted responsibility for making payments to payees, in which case such operator shall be the payer.
(2) (a) Unless otherwise agreed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), payments of proceeds derived from the sale of oil, gas, or associated products shall be paid by a payer to a payee commencing not later than six months after the end of the month in which production is first sold. Thereafter, such payments shall be made on a monthly basis not later than sixty days for oil and ninety days for gas and associated products following the end of the calendar month in which subsequent production is sold. Payments may be made annually if the aggregate sum due a payee for twelve consecutive months is one hundred dollars or less.
(b) The payer and payee may provide, in a valid lease or other agreement, for terms or arrangements for payment that differ from those set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2).
(2.3) Notwithstanding any other applicable terms or arrangements, every payment of proceeds derived from the sale of oil, gas, or associated products shall be accompanied by information that includes, at a minimum:
(a) A name, number, or combination of name and number that identifies the lease, property, unit, or well or wells for which payment is being made;
(b) The month and year during which the sale occurred for which payment is being made;
(c) The total quantity of product sold attributable to such payment, including the units of measurement for the sale of such product;
(d) The price received per unit of measurement, which shall be the price per barrel in the case of oil and the price per thousand cubic feet ("MCF") or per million British thermal units ("MMBTU") in the case of gas;
(e) The total amount of severance taxes and any other production taxes or levies applied to the sale;
(f) The payee's interest in the sale, expressed as a decimal and calculated to at least the sixth decimal place;
(g) The payee's share of the sale before any deductions or adjustments made by the payer or identified with the payment;
(h) The payee's share of the sale after any deductions or adjustments made by the payer or identified with the payment;
(i) An address and telephone number from which additional information may be obtained and questions answered.
(2.5) Upon written request by the payee, submitted to the payer by certified mail, the payer shall provide to the payee within sixty days a written explanation of those deductions or adjustments over which the payer has control and for which the payer has information, whether or not identified with the payment, and, if requested by the payee, such meter calibration testing and production reporting records that are required to be maintained by the payer in accordance with section 34-60-106 (1) (e). The requirement to provide a written explanation of deductions or adjustments shall not preclude the payer from answering the inquiry by referring the payee to the royalty clause or payment provision in a lease or other agreement.
(2.7) A payer who fails to provide information required or requested in accordance with subsection (2.3) or (2.5) of this section shall be subject to penalties as provided in section 34-60-121.
(3) (a) Compliance with the payment deadlines set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall be suspended when payments are withheld for a period of time due to any of the following reasons:
(I) A failure or delay by the payee to confirm in writing the payee's fractional interest in the proceeds after a reasonable request in writing by the payer for such confirmation;
(II) A reasonable doubt by the payer as to the payee's identity, whereabouts, or clear title to an interest in proceeds; or
(III) Litigation that would affect the distribution of payments to a payee.
(b) Any delay in determining whether or not a payee is entitled to an interest in proceeds shall not affect payments to all other payees so entitled.
(4) If a payer does not make payment within the time frames specified in subsection (2) of this section and such delay in payment was not caused by any of the reasons specified in subsection (3) of this section, the payer shall pay such payee simple interest on the amount of the proceeds withheld, which interest shall be calculated from the date of each sale at a rate equal to two times the discount rate at the federal reserve bank of Kansas City as such rate existed on the first day of the calendar year or years in which proceeds were withheld.
(5) Absent a bona fide dispute over the interpretation of a contract for payment, the oil and gas conservation commission shall have jurisdiction to determine the following:
(a) The date on which payment of proceeds is due a payee under subsection (2) of this section;
(b) The existence or nonexistence of an occurrence pursuant to subsection (3) of this section which would justifiably cause a delay in payment; and
(c) The amount of the proceeds plus interest, if any, due a payee by a payer.
(5.5) Before hearing the merits of any proceeding regarding payment of proceeds pursuant to this section, the oil and gas conservation commission shall determine whether a bona fide dispute exists regarding the interpretation of a contract defining the rights and obligations of the payer and payee. If the commission finds that such a dispute exists, the commission shall decline jurisdiction over the dispute and the parties may seek resolution of the matter in district court.
(6) The commission may assign to the parties the costs of any administrative proceeding pursuant to this section in such proportions as it deems appropriate and may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party. The moneys received by the commission to cover the costs of such administrative proceedings shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit such moneys to the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund created in section 34-60-122.
(7) As a prerequisite to seeking relief under this section for the failure of a payer to make timely payment, a payee shall give the payer written notice by certified mail of such failure and the payer shall have twenty days after receipt of the required notice in which to pay the proceeds, plus any interest due thereon, in accordance with the provisions of this section or to respond in writing explaining the reason for nonpayment.
(8) (a) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter existing substantive rights or obligations nor to impose upon the oil and gas conservation commission any duty to interpret a contract from which the obligation to pay proceeds arises.
(b) Subsections (2.3), (2.5), and (2.7) of this section shall apply to payments of proceeds derived from sales occurring on or after July 1, 1998.
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