More pipeline drama filed against Denbury Green

David Yates Sep. 29, 2009, 9:29am

With several suits already filed against it, Denbury Green's pipeline has become a focal point for many landowners who claim the company is snatching up land with no regard for the tracts' occupants.

In early September, Milestone Operating filed suit against Denbury Green, alleging the company had entered property it currently leases to begin work on a carbon dioxide pipeline without first meeting with Milestone officials to ensure none of its equipment or gas wells would be endangered by the project.

Milestone operates several wells throughout Lovell Lake Field – an area through which Denbury plans to run its pipeline.

A temporary restraining hearing to stop Denbury's advance was slated for Monday, Sept. 28, but was reset for a later date.

Denbury Green has planned a 314-mile, 24-inch pipeline starting near the Texas-Louisiana border and ending at the Hastings Field located in Brazoria and Galveston counties. The pipeline will transport carbon dioxide (CO2), which will be injected into oil reservoirs to recover additional crude oil.

In its suit, Milestone says it operates several underground gas lift lines that are constructed with pipe made of carbon fiber and fiberglass, materials "that are not detectable by instruments currently available."

"Denbury was advised by Milestone ... that it should not begin construction of the pipeline until meeting with Milestone ... to determine a safe route because of potential damage to oilfield structure," the suit states.

However, Denbury "has ignored this information and advice from Milestone" and has "entered the subject property without notifying Milestone," the suit says.

When the TRO hearing is reset, Milestone will ask presiding Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, to restrain Denbury until a safe route can be plotted.

"Milestone does not intend to prevent construction of Denbury's pipeline," the suit states. "However, Milestone is concerned that its valuable infrastructure, as well as human life, are at risk."

Last week, the Southeast Texas Record reported on a ruling by the Texas Ninth District Court of Appeals granting Denbury common carrier status, which means the company can obtain land through eminent domain.

That case was filed by Texas Rice Land Partners, who claimed Denbury was building the pipeline for private use but was taking private lands at public use, below market prices.

Milestone is represented by the Law Office of Keith Kebodeaux

Case No. E184-844

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