The Energy & Minerals Team manages the natural resources and renewable energy assets of the trust. We oversee the leasing of oil and gas, helium, coal, metalliferous minerals, potash, gilsonite, tar sands, lithium, phosphate, gemstones, fossils, sand and gravel, limestone, oil shale, mineral salts, industrial minerals, building stone, wind, solar, battery storage, and geothermal energy.
Most leases are issued either competitively through online auctions conducted by EnergyNet, or through the negotiation of a specific exploration and development agreement, referred to as an Other Business Arrangement (OBA). See Utah Code section 53C-2-401(d)(ii). OBAs are negotiated by the agency and must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Mining leases and permits statewide generated over $8.8M in revenue last fiscal year.
Royalties generated from Oil & Gas leases totaled over $41.5M in revenue last fiscal year.
Renewable leases on trust lands generated approximately $1.3M in revenue last fiscal year.
For oil and gas or mineral leases, there are two ways to work with us: through the Mineral Auction and Other Business Arrangements (OBAs). Wind and solar leases may be obtained through an application process, while geothermal leases may be obtained through an OBA. Trust Lands Administration issues permits for mineral materials; sand, gravel, and cinders; and rockhounding.
Mineral auctions are held quarterly for oil, gas, and mineral leases. Auctions are typically held in January, April, July, and October through EnergyNet. The Energy and Minerals team selects lands to include in lease sales and additional lands are selected based on public nomination. Nominations may be made using the link below. Nominations close approximately 60 days before each auction.
Trust Lands may negotiate an OBA with a lessee, which stands for “Other Business Arrangement.” These customized agreements authorized by statute require approval by the Trust Lands Board of Trustees. The statute allowing OBAs describes them “as joint ventures, farmout agreements, exploration agreements, operating agreements, and other business arrangements for the disposition of coal and mineral deposits in trust lands.”
All coal, helium, geothermal leases and many other lease types are done via OBAs. Trust Lands also enters into exploration and development, energy storage, and multiple commodity OBAs. OBAs allow Trust Lands to include more land than what would be included in a standard auction lease. In exchange, Trust Lands typically receives higher revenues from these agreements.
Solar and Wind Energy leases may be obtained by submitting an application, supplemental information, and fees. The required supplemental documents include: a preliminary development plan describing the project, maps/diagrams showing the location and footprint of lease, proposed site layout, proposed business terms of the lease, and any other information that will help Trust Lands consideration of the application.
Trust Lands will review the application to ensure there are no conflicts. The review process may result in additional cultural, environmental, or paleontological surveys. Some of these requirements may need to be done prior to lease execution, while others may be completed prior to any groundbreaking activities.
If the application is accepted, the applicant will be notified and begin the 30-day public notice and comment period. After this period and upon agreement to the lease terms and conditions, all parties may execute the lease.
Mineral Material Permits are offered competitively on the Mineral Auction or over the counter, depending on the commodity and location, and generally have a term of 1-5 years. This permit applies to building stone and some rock aggregates.
Material Permits for Sand & Gravel and Cinders are advertised for competitive interest for a period of 30 days. Trust Lands will evaluate Material Permit applications to determine if the permit is in line with land use plans and trust responsibilities.
Utah is rich in rocks, gemstones, and fossils. Know the laws before you go and use these resources to plan your adventure on trust lands.
Federal and state laws prohibit the collection of vertebrate fossils, certain trace fossils, such as dinosaur tracks, or any cultural/archaeological artifact. Trust Lands Rockhounding Permit does not allow the collection of any of these items.
Visit The Rockhounder, a list of rock and mineral collection sites compiled by the Utah Geological Survey.
Payments for royalties from the production of oil, condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids are due to The Trust Lands Administration.
The Energy and Minerals group lease assignments allow the transfer or conveyance of working interest in our leases, including record title, operating rights and overriding royalty. For these assignments, you will need:
For all leases, you will be required to completely and accurately fill out the assignment form including lease number(s), legal land description(s) and acreage, ownership percentages (down to .000000%, if applicable), and all signatures (assignor, assignee, notary). You will submit the original assignment form with any required Exhibits (for mass lease assignments) and a check for the full fee amount with lease numbers on the memo line. Fees are calculated per lease per assignment. Once we receive your documentation, we will begin our internal process of lease reviews and auditing of all lease rents and royalties. If our auditing team or lease managers discover missing payments, you will receive notice and processing of the assignment will halt until the outstanding balance is paid in full. If there are no problems found, your assignment will be sent to the Director for final approval. After the assignment is approved, the original form will be stamped, scanned into our records, and sent to the assignee. The Energy and Minerals Team requires one original copy of the assignment form for processing; however, if the assignor or multiple assignees would like stamped originals, we will happily stamp and return the number of forms submitted with the fee.
Trust Lands requires a bond prior to commencement of any operations which will disturb the surface of the land covered by a lease or a permit. The bond is necessary to ensure compliance with all performance obligations of the lease or permit, including but not limited to the payment of royalties, and any reclamation requirements not covered by the bond of any regulatory agency having jurisdiction over the operations. Bonding amounts will vary by lease/permit activity.
For more information, email the Energy and Minerals Team at TLAfirstname.lastname@example.org
Download Bond of Lessee form
Recent reports and studies affecting energy and natural resource development in Utah.
Additional reports and studies can be found at https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/publications/
All developed projects on trust lands must be reclaimed by the operator, or lessee at the end of the life of the project. This may include a variety of land uses such as: oil and gas well pads, pipelines, mines, processing facilities, solar projects and many others.
Projects that are developed for mineral extraction such as mining or oil and gas are regulated for reclamation by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (UDOGM). UDOGM requires a reclamation bond that is calculated based on land use and acreage of disturbance. The Trust Lands Administration, as land trustees, works in partnership with UDOGM to ensure that all lands are appropriately reclaimed for the designated land use. For projects that are not regulated by UDOGM, TLA may require a reclamation plan and performance and reclamation bond be held by TLA. Such bonds may be submitted as surety bonds, cash bonds or letters of credit.
All activities on trust lands are governed by our enabling act and Trust Lands rules and regulations.
Non-exclusive easements and special use lease agreements (SULAs) may be issued to support energy and mineral development on trust lands.
Trust Lands assesses fees for land uses from right of entry permits to extended easement and lease agreements.
If you have an Energy & Minerals form ready, you can submit it directly here.
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