Wells is a Partner and co-chair of Dorsey’s Energy and Natural Resources Industry Group.
Wells focuses primarily on natural resources and renewable energy development. He represents a wide range of mining, oil & gas and renewable energy clients in acquisition, financing, development, permitting, infrastructure and economic development projects.
His work includes the purchase and sale of public and private mining, oil & gas, and renewable energy companies and related projects, as well as earn-in and joint venture transactions, capital raising projects, finance, royalty and mineral streaming transactions, mineral and surface leasing, wind and solar leasing, and land transactions. Wells also represents companies in state and federal permitting, regulatory approvals, and administrative disputes and has represented clients in matters before the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and various other state and federal regulatory agencies.
Wells represents renewable energy developers negotiate, secure and review land leases, easements, crossing agreements and other related real property rights required in the development and operation of a solar, wind and energy storage projects. He works with developers in preparing and reviewing project development plans, surveys and title insurance commitments, and in performing title curative work in connection with financing and sale transactions. Wells has significant experience in the development of solar, wind and energy storage projects on public lands and in obtaining real property easements, leases and related real property interests on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and various state land management agencies.
- Goldcorp and Newmont Combine to Form World’s Largest Gold Company
- BMO Capital Markets secures key funding for gold mining company
- Golden Queen Mining completes key financing
- Nevada Copper closes $20 million bridge loan facility
- Golden Queen Mining forms joint venture to develop and operate the Soledad Mountain project
- Whiting Petroleum and Kodiak Oil & Gas combine to create largest Bakken/Three Forks oil producer
- Uranium producer goes private, acquired by Russian government
- Public-Private Partnership Key to Quitchupah Creek Road Project
- Represented Canadian investor in purchase out of bankruptcy and JV transaction for the Jerritt Canyon Mine in Nevada.
- Represented Bronco Coal Resources in purchase of the Emery Deep and Hidden Valley coal mines in Utah.
- Represented Uranium One in sale of the Shootaring Canyon Mill and other uranium assets, located in Utah, Arizona and South Dakota, to Anfield Resource Inc.
- Represented Arch Coal Inc. in sale of a domestic coal company with multiple producing mines and related assets in Utah for $423 million, and acquisition of the Jacobs Ranch coal mine in the Powder River Basin for $764 million.
Mergers & Acquisitions – Renewable Energy
- Represented renewable energy developer in sale of two solar projects in Oregon.
- Represented renewable energy developer in the sale of solar project in Utah.
- Represented renewable energy developer in the acquisition of pumped storage hydroelectric projects in Minnesota.
- Represented renewable energy developer in the purchase of five solar projects in Utah.
- Represented renewable energy developer in the purchase of a wind project in Idaho.
- Represented renewable energy company in due diligence review, purchase and finance for large wind project in Ohio.
- Represented utility company in due diligence review and acquisition of wind project in Colorado.
Mergers & Acquisitions – Oil & Gas
- Represented SRC Energy in acquisition of producing oil and gas assets in the DJ Basin from Noble Energy for $568 million.
- Represented Synergy Resources Corp in acquisition of producing oil and gas assets in the Wattenberg Field from Noble Energy for $505 million.
- Represented Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. in multiple acquisitions of producing and undeveloped oil and gas projects in Williston Basin valued at over $1.5 billion.
- Represented Crescent Point Energy (US) Corp. in its $860 million acquisition of Ute Energy Upstream Holdings LLC with producing and undeveloped properties in the Uinta Basin.
- Represented renewable energy developer on leasing, easement and title curative process for multiple projects in Utah.
- Represented renewable energy developer on real property acquisition and development for compressed air energy storage project in Utah.
- Represented renewable energy developer on leasing, easement and title curative process for projects in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Mine Finance and Royalty Transactions
- Represented Mubadala Investment Company in $130 million investment in Equinox Gold Corp.
- Represented Nevada Copper Corp. in $200 million credit facility.
- Represented Franco-Nevada Corporation in acquisition of a royalty on Golden Meadows Project in Idaho for $15 million.
- Represented International Minerals Corporation in sale of royalty on Ruby Hill gold mine in Nevada to Royal Gold, Inc. for $38 million.
Joint Venture Transactions
- Represented Kennecott Exploration Company in joint venture transaction with Broadway Gold for the Madison copper-gold project in Montana.
- Represented Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd. in joint venture with Leucadia National Corporation for the Soledad Mountain Gold and Silver Project in California.
- Represented international uranium company in joint venture transactions for the development of mining projects in Arizona.
- Represented international gold mining company in transaction involving amendments to joint venture agreement relating to producing gold mine in Nevada.
Administrative Disputes and Proceedings
- Served as counsel before the U.S. Department of the Interior, Interior Board of Land Appeals, in case involving mining claim location and maintenance issues.
- Served as counsel before the U.S. Department of the Interior, Interior Board of Land Appeals, in cases involving reinstatement of Federal oil and gas leases.
Mining, Oil & Gas and Land Transactions
- Represented independent power producers in wind and solar leases, easement agreement, and title curative in connection with project and tax equity financing.
- Represented major coal company in leasing, permitting, construction and development of mine ventilation facility in Utah.
- Represented oil and gas companies in leasing, easements and facility and transportation agreements for oil and gas projects.
- Represented mining companies in property transactions including property purchase and sale agreements, mineral leases, surface use agreements, well suspension agreements, data sale agreements and royalty agreements.
Infrastructure and Economic Development Projects
- Represented Canyon Fuel Company, LLC in the joint planning, permitting, development, construction and funding, with the Sevier County, Sevier Special Service District # 1, of the Quitchupah Creek Road.
- Represented Nevada Copper Corp. in Federal land exchange and property acquisition with the City of Yerington for the development of the Pumpkin Hollow Copper Mine.
Pay for Success
- Represented financial and legal intermediary for two PFS projects for Salt Lake County addressing criminal justice and homelessness.
- Advised service providers on draft legislation, PFS legal governance and transaction structure for the Employability to Careers PFS project being pursued by the State of Utah.
- Represented service provider on PFS project designed to deliver environmental outcomes through agricultural conservation practices to address storm water pollution reduction requirements.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
- “Trends and Opportunities in the U.S. Renewables Space,” held in connection with Solar Power International, September 2019
- “The Due Diligence Process and Its Impact on the Deal,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Special Institute on Due Diligence in Oil & Gas Transactions, Denver, CO, September 2018
- “U.S. Legal Issues in Cross-Border Mining M&A Transactions,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Workshop on Cross-Border Natural Resource Transactions, June 2017
- “Real Property Due Diligence in Mining Transactions”, American Exploration and Mining Association, Annual Conference, Reno, NV, December 2016
- “Mining on Federal Lands,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Special Institute on Public Land Law, Regulation, and Management, Santa Fe, NM, May 2014
- “Mining in Difficult Markets: A Discussion of U.S. Legal Issues for Mining Companies and Advisors,” Dorsey Canada Practice Group Webinar, September 2013
- “Ownership and Development Conflicts Between Oil & Gas and Other Minerals," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Special Institute on Horizontal Oil & Gas Development, Denver CO, November 2012
- “Acquisition and Exercise of Mineral Rights on Federal Lands," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Mining Law Short Course, Boulder CO, May 2010
- "Uranium Mining and Milling", Energy Law, University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, April 2008
Industries & Practices
- Development & Infrastructure
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Indian & Alaska Native
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Oil & Gas
- Project Development & Finance
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Real Estate & Land Use
Professional & Civic
- Utah State Bar Association; Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section
- Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Mining Chair for 2017 Annual Institute
- Special Institutes Committee
- Publications Committee
- Membership Committee
- Program Committee, Special Institute on the Nuts and Bolts of Mineral Title Examination, February 2012
- Board Member, University of Utah Alumni Association, Young Alumni Board of Directors, 2014-2017
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2021-2022
- Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Environment, Natural Resources & Regulated Industries), 2019-2021
- Named “Up & Coming” by Chambers USA (Environment, Natural Resources & Regulated Industries), 2016-2017
- Listed as a Mountain States Rising Star, 2016-2021
- Named one of Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine, Energy & Natural Resources, 2015; 2018-2021