University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) memorializes an agreement between parties. In Colorado, such agreements are often negotiated by a local government and an oil and gas operator. The document may be called an MOU, a memorandum of agreement (MOA), operator agreement, or development agreement. In these documents (that we collectively call “MOUs”), the parties agree on how the oil and gas operator will develop and/or operate oil and gas facilities within the local jurisdiction and how the local government will interact with the operator.

Anatomy of an MOU

Anatomy of an MOU

MOUs and the processes used to develop them are as different as the communities, operators and issues that they address.  Yet they have commonalities as well.

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Databases of MOUS

Database of MOUs

The BMP Project hosts a database of Local Government / Operator MOUs within the BMP Project’s searchable bibliographic database.

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Database of MOU BMPS

Database of MOU BMPs

Best management practices (BMPs) from MOUs are catalogued in the BMP Project’s searchable BMP database.

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Stakeholder Assessment

Stakeholder Assessment

The BMP Project conducted interviews with stakeholders to identify the challenges and opportunities of developing and implementing MOUs.

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BMP database searches can be used to identify and compare development practices among Colorado communities.

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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

This section provides links to various resources cited in the Stakeholder Assessment report or otherwise useful for those interested in MOUs.

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Funding and other support for the MOU project has been provided by:



Last substantive additions to MOU pages: 10/15/2016
Last minor updates: 10/15/2016