Ghislaine G. Torres Bruner counsels energy clients through all aspects of planning, siting, permitting issues and complex litigation affecting natural resource and energy companies, including current high-profile, complicated and sometimes contentious issues impacting exploration and production oil, gas and other mineral assets near urban and suburban areas in the Rocky Mountain Region and abroad.
Ghislaine is often consulted on the onset of projects, and assists clients in drafting complex agreements and negotiation of terms incorporated in memoranda of understandings, use by special review permits, surface use agreements, right-of-way agreements, settlement agreements among other agreements entered with local governments. Ghislaine is skilled in the preparation of local and state permits and navigating through state and local rules and regulations governing mineral development. Because of her significant experience in drafting and negotiating agreements, Ghislaine is poised to litigate zealously when disputes arise and has successfully represented many clients in both quasi-judicial proceedings before local and state agencies and court proceedings.
Ghislaine’s goal is to resolve disputes before they require court proceedings, but many times litigation is inevitable. She is recognized for her skill and success in handling civil enforcement matters and has developed regulatory compliance programs and negotiated nominal dollar or no penalty settlements when clients faced large dollar liability. She has also helped clients protect vested contractual rights to develop assets. Ghislaine often represents energy companies in local governmental and state agency rulemakings by providing comment and assisting clients through stakeholder engagement and witness testimony. A native Spanish speaker, Ghislaine leverages her bilingual skills to represent a range of clients in energy-related transactions or litigation. Prior to focusing her practice in the energy space, Ghislaine handled complex multi-million dollar multi-defendant tort litigation throughout Florida, representing physicians, hospitals and nursing homes and companies in high profile negligence, product liability of strict liability actions.
In addition to her legal career, Ghislaine has served on the Board of Colorado Ballet’s Auxiliary in various capacities, and has actively participated in Colorado Scouting, most recently serving on the pack committee as advancement chair. She is a member of Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and Women’s Energy Network- Denver, Colorado Chapter. Since 2016, Ghislaine has served as Vice Chair for Membership of the American Bar Association’s Section for Energy, Environment, Resources Oil and Gas Committee, and At-large for the Air Quality Committee. She has been an active member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association serving on the Local Regulatory Committee, Legal, Legislative and Committee and Environmental Health and Safety committees. Recently, Ghislaine was a recipient of the Denver Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Energy.
- Working with operator and municipality on planning, permitting an oil and gas development with 80+ oil and gas wells including drafting right-of-way agreements, surface use agreement with county municipality, and drafting and assisting with compliance with an oil and gas operator agreement.
- Representing oil and gas operator as an intervenor in a Colorado Administrative Procedure Act district court case brought by an association against a state agency involving the operators permit for a twenty-two well oil and gas development.
- Serving as lead litigation counsel in various lease dispute actions.
- Successfully representing Oil and Gas Operator in a matter of first impression before City Council on an appeal of a Planning Commissions denial of the Oil and Gas Operators Use by Special Review Permit.
- Representing oil and gas operators in COGCC and local enforcement other actions.
- Representing oil and gas land services company on an audit by the Colorado Dept. of Labor based on independent contractor agreements.
- Representing oil and gas land services company on appeal to the Colorado Dept. of Labor on the land professional statute.
- Representing permit applicant on protests before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
- Obtaining dismissal with prejudice of a Land professional in a litigation involving tort action.
- Negotiating, drafting, and analyzing, through start-up company formation, confidentiality agreements, joint venture agreements, operating agreements, surface use agreements, oil and gas leases, right-of-way agreements, easement agreements, letter agreements, JOA’s, settlement agreements, gathering and processing agreements and various other agreements.
- Advising clients and prepare legal opinions to prevent and manage legal risk including but not limited to political risk associated with opposition on projects from stakeholders related to oil and gas operations, drilling, completion and development, landowner and stakeholder issues.
- Negotiating and planning projects for Canadian oil and gas company extracting lithium from brines in the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
- Advised DJ Basin operator on the obtaining an approved amended Form 2A using the newly promulgated COGCC Rules and applying pertinent exceptions.
- Representing operator in the recent COGCC rulemaking regarding Large Urban Mitigation Areas (LUMA) including providing comment and preparing testimony; worked closely with the trade associations; assisted in drafting important exceptions to the new COGCC Rules recommended by the Governor’s Taskforce.
- Working with industry team and the trade associations in providing comment and guidance in the Boulder County, Weld, and City of Thornton Oil and Gas Regulations Rulemakings.
- Working on the industry air quality team on the storage tank workgroup on guidance for the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment (CDPHE).
- Assisting operator with Drafting Operator Guidance with state regulatory agencies.
- Drafting responses to CDPHE Reg. 7 Compliance Advisory for oil and gas operator.
- Assisting an operator in the development of a COGCC Regulatory Compliance Program for risk mitigation.
- Preparation of numerous oil and gas land agreements for operators and midstream companies including development agreements with municipalities, surface use agreements, easement agreements, right-of-way agreements; oversaw team reviewing and drafting gas gathering midstream contracts.
- Assisting midstream company in obtaining exemptions on oil and gas development despite moratorium.
- Assisting midstream company in the negotiation with a local government on the decommissioning of a pipeline.
- Drafting and negotiating energy transactions consisting of large acreage positions including negotiating and drafting Purchase Sale Agreements and leading due diligence teams.
- Advising clients on political risk both domestic and foreign jurisdiction moratoriums.
- Advising oil and gas and midstream clients in all COGCC rules and CDPHE regulation compliance.
- Preparation of Oil and Gas Operator’s Protests to the COGCC and COGCC 318A Objections to Spacing and Pooling Applications for a large multinational oil and gas operator with assets in the DJ Basin.
- Assisting oil and gas operator in notification of a security breach to FBI, IRS, police, State Attorney Generals and affected individuals in many states and foreign countries.