Brent D. Chicken is an experienced natural resources attorney with extensive knowledge of the challenges faced by exploration and production, midstream and downstream operating in the energy industry. He regularly represents his clients in complex commercial litigation disputes, business transactions, administrative/regulatory law and procedure, and title examination matters.
In his litigation practice, Brent frequently defends his clients’ interests in the courtroom, in arbitration and in mediation related to various mineral matters, including constitutional, contract and real property issues.
For his clients that are undertaking transactions, he provides guidance on title, due diligence and contractual issues during the purchase and sale of oil and gas properties involving mixed fee, state, federal and tribal rights, and prepares accompanying sale, indemnity, surface use and subsurface penetration agreements.
In the regulatory realm, Brent advocates for his clients before various state and federal oil and gas agencies, prepares and presents applications for well spacing, well density, rule exemptions and statutory pooling, undertakes administrative appeals of negative agency decisions, and defends application protests.
Additionally, Brent regularly prepares comprehensive drilling, division order and acquisition mineral title opinions involving fee, state, federal and tribal lands. These include, but are not limited to, specialty opinions involving natural gas storage units, solution mining and “gob gas” areas. Brent also routinely counsels clients in tackling title curative matters, including negotiating and drafting varied mineral and surface title instruments.
Prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson, Brent was a partner at a large national oil and gas and two Denver-based energy firms, focusing on natural resources litigation, oil and gas transactions, administrative and regulatory matters and title examination due diligence.
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in the lifting of a $20,000 regulatory operations bond suspension and the acquisition of county permits to allow the conduct of exploration and development operations on lands in southwest Colorado
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in a review by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Director of an adverse federal agency decision regarding the cancellation of oil and gas leasehold interests covering tribal lands
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company before the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining Board, obtaining first-time regulatory approval of an overlapping, fieldwide well spacing scheme covering approximately 50,000 acres of mixed fee, state, federal and tribal lands
- Represented oil and gas exploration company in the defense of tenth ever Cease and Desist Order issued by Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, resulting in penalty decreases of approximately $543,000
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in a unique post-well plugging spacing and pooling application before the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in a review by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Montana State Director of an adverse federal agency decision regarding federal oil and gas lease validity
- Represented an oil and gas midstream company in the negotiation and drafting of a midstream gas gathering and processing agreement covering fee, state, federal and tribal lands in northwest Utah
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in the negotiation and drafting of a $500,000 assignment and bill of sale covering the acquisition of fee surface estate acreage in western North Dakota
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in the $4.7 million acquisition of producing oil and gas leasehold interests covering fee lands in western North Dakota
- Represented multiple oil and gas exploration companies in the negotiation and drafting of numerous oil and gas surface use agreements, pipeline easements and rights-of-way covering fee lands in North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana
- Represented an oil and gas exploration company in the negotiation and drafting of subsurface drill-though agreements covering fee and state lands in northern Colorado and central Wyoming
- J.D. University of Denver
- B.S. Florida State University
- Utah State Bar, May 2014 – Present
- Member, Real Property, Probate & Trust Section, North Dakota State Bar, January 2012 – Present
- Member, Natural Resource, Energy & Environmental Law Section, Montana State Bar, May 2008 – Present
- Member, Mineral Law Section, Wyoming State Bar, June 2006 – Present
- Member, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section, Colorado State Bar, May 2005 – Present
- Author; Speaker, National Association of Division Order Analysts, August 2016 – Present
- Faculty, National Business Institute, November 2012 – Present
- Member; Author; Speaker, Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen, May 2005 – Present
- Law Student Mentor, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, May 2005 – Present
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