(303) 292-4567 ralph@cantafiolaw.com



 Ralph Cantafio has been representing clients, primarily in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, in the oil and gas industry for close to 30 years. These clients have included a wide variety of large, medium and small sized oil and gas companies, mineral rights owners, and surface users. Cantafio has also represented clients in other mineral and natural resource industries involving private property, state property, and federal property (primarily the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service) issues, not to mention participants in the coal, wind, solar and utility industries addressing a host of legal issues.

Now after years of experience Ralph offers Mediation and Arbitration services to not only oil and gas industry participants, but all extractive natural resources industry members. Cantafio, having participated in countless negotiations, mediations, arbitrations and trials, offers what he believes is efficiently designed mediation and arbitration services. His experience in various states, as well as with the technical aspects of these industries and how they operate, provides a unique perspective on these types of disputes.

Cantafio offers not only his professional experiences, but keeps abreast of emerging trends and advances in his capacity as an Adjunct Professor at Western State Colorado University where he teaches Oil and Gas Agreements and Negotiations in the American Association of Professional Landman accredited Petroleum Land Management Program. Additionally, he expands his practice as a lecturer and faculty member at the University of Colorado – Denver in the Global Energy Management (“GEM”) Program where he teaches Environmental, Regulatory, Legal and Political Environment of the Energy Industry and Energy Law:  Property, Contracts and Transactions.


Ralph makes himself available to clients all over the United States by charging for actual travel costs, but not for travel time.

Please review Ralph’s articles for further information:

Understanding And Negotiating The Oil And Gas Lease

A Common Sense Guide To Understanding The Risks And Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing

Recent Legislative Responses to Dakota Access Pipeline and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act

Ralph practices Oil and Gas Mediation and Arbitration in the following states: California, Colorado, Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma,  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wyoming, Utah, and North Dakota.


Oil and Gas Mediation and Arbitration:

  •  Acquisition agreements
  • Amounts owed and proper application of expenses under JOAs
  • Area of Mutual Interest disputes
  • Claims for capture, conversion and theft of minerals not under lease
  • Claims for damages for failure to obtain and/or maintain licenses and permits
  • Claims for failure to account for reclamation costs
  • Claims for failure to reasonably market production
  • Claims for fraud and intentional misrepresentation in data room information
  • Claims for well and formation damage resulting from shut-in operations
  • Claims of mismanagement resulting in increased costs and decreased revenues
  • Claims referring to deduction of post-production costs from the royalty
  • Claims relating to delays due to failure to comply with G56 or other EUB requirements
  • Company and surface owner drilling disputes
  • Contract clauses
  • Damage claims
  • Damages claimed for failure to pass good title to property
  • Disputes from drilling contracts
  • Disputes of alleged breach contract
  • Disputes over gas compression equipment
  • Disputes over rights to participate in acquisitions and receive proceeds from production
  • Disputes under joint exploration and development agreements
  • Dissenting shareholder rights
  • Drainage
  • Drainage claims
  • Drilling location disputes
  • Effective dates of acquisition and rights of purchase
  • Effects of drilling on groundwater
  • Exploration and development
  • Failure of oil field equipment
  • Force majeure suspension of obligations to deliver or take
  • Forced lease termination
  • Fracking effects and damage claims
  • Gas gathering and processing dispute
  • Gas processing
  • Gas re-pricing contract clauses
  • Groundwater pollution and disruption of potable water flow
  • Heavy oil extraction
  • Investment rights
  • Joint operating agreement conflicts
  • Jumping Pound formula interpretations and applications
  • Lease termination suits
  • Market value of royalty claims
  • Mineral estate and surface owner disputes
  • Oil and gas title disputes
  • Pipeline transportation fees and accounting
  • Plant fees and expenses charged back to through-put customers
  • Pooling disputes
  • Preferential rights disputes
  • Quality of oil transported
  • Reasonable development claims
  • Reclamation
  • Reduction of surface lease payments after reclamation and prior to certificate issuance
  • Refinery construction
  • Rights to drip
  • Sale of O&G interests
  • Setting of renewal rates 
  • Suits to determine status of payout and vesting of back-in interests
  • Tract factor disputes
  • Valuation of gas and oil reserves


Mr. Cantafio provides comprehensive mineral appraisals, including oil and gas, assisting a wide host of consumers to address valuation issues involving:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Property and Ad Valorem Taxes
  • Estate Taxes
  • Estate Planning
  • Private Lending and Bank Financing
  • Purchase and Sale of Mineral Rights, including Royalties
  • Bankruptcy Proceedings
  • Litigation
  • Acquisition, Sale and Leasing
  • Tax Planning
  • Financial Planning

Mineral Valuation Services

Our clients include landowners; attorneys and law firms; CPA’s, accountants and accounting firms; financial planners; mineral purchasers, exploration and production companies, banks, trustees, municipalities and others. 

I am licensed to practice law in Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming as well as numerous Federal Courts associated with these states.   I can value assets throughout the United States.

I hold a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder as well as a Master of Science in Mineral Economics from the Colorado School of Mines.

I also am a Lecturer (Adjunct Professor) at the University of Colorado, Denver. As a member of the Global Energy Management (“GEM”) Program, I teach Environmental, Regulatory, Legal and Political Environment of the Energy Industry as well as Energy Law: Property, Contracts, and Transactions


Although I do not practice as a real estate broker, I possess a Colorado Real Estate License and have secured the designations of GRI (Graduate, Real Estate Institute) and SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource).

Appraisals include a wide variety of oil and gas properties, from those that have minerals that are not already leased to properties currently paying royalties, not to mention countless circumstances in between.

I also provide assistance to clients reviewing proposed oil and gas leases, surface use agreements, mineral deeds and many other documents customarily used in the oil and gas industry.