Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Uintah Basin oil, gas drilling could be impacted by dispute between counties, Ute Tribe

A long-running dispute between tribal and non-tribal governments over criminal jurisdiction in the Uintah Basin is threatening to throw a wrench into a valuable part of Utah's economic engine.

Leaders of the Ute Indian Tribe, in a Jan. 30 letter to commissioners in Duchesne and Uintah counties, outlined their plan to begin reviewing all non-tribal business activity taking place on tribal land "to determine whether cause exists for the termination of … leases, business licenses, rights of ways and access permits."

Much of the oil and natural gas drilling in the Uintah Basin right now is taking place on tribal land. The state, the counties and the tribe all receive severance tax revenues from drilling on federally managed lands. Deseret News