And just like that, the Supremes today have cast Colo., in a white-hot spotlight with its new rendition of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. But here, in The Land of the DJ Basin, where the shale boom reanimated the state’s economy six ways to Sunday, oil and gas players are finding a spotlight of their own. This one against a backdrop of uncertainty that has them tossing the dice.  

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from Colo., where Democratic state lawmakers have now proposed two bills that would further threaten new drilling. One bill would require a five-month cease and desist of production every year. The second, a phase down of drilling permits starting in 2008 with an all-out ban of permits in 2030—the first ever state-sponsored ban in the nation.

When plotting long-term strategies in the DJ, the basin’s largest operators (Chevron, Civitas Resources, and OXY) are hardly oblivious to Colo.’s longtime hellbent-for-leather temperament. Chevron last May piled on its Rocky Mountain love with a $6.3 billion show of affection for PDC Energy. One month later, Denver-based Civitas—the largest pure-player in the DJ with 470,000 net acres and 79.8 MBPD—said, “Standby, we’re rethinking things.” with a $7 billion surprise leap into the Permian Delaware and Midland, adding 70,000 net acres and 51.8 MBPD to its lunch box. According to the company’s recent 4Q earnings report, Civitas quietly offloaded $85 million worth of non-core acreage in the DJ as part of its plan to divest $300 million in assets by June and direct the majority of 2024 investments in the Permian.

Sitio Royalties, however, is feelin’ groovy in the DJ with its first deal of the year at $150 million, scooping up 13,000 net royalty acres in the basin’s core operated by none other than Chevron, Civitaws, and OXY.