RAPID/Roadmap/3

< RAPID‎ | Roadmap
Jump to: navigation, search

RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Geothermal Land & Geothermal Resource Access Overview (3)

To secure geothermal rights and land access or control, a developer needs to determine land and geothermal resource ownership. Unless a developer owns both the surface rights and geothermal rights for a project, the developer will be required to obtain land access from the owner(s) of the surface rights and/or geothermal rights. Even in cases where the developer owns both the surface rights and geothermal rights for a project, the developer may still face land access issues related to accessing the site, and building roads, pipelines or transmission lines for the project.


Land access can be gained through land purchase, a lease, or by obtaining written or oral permission from the landowner. Typically, a formal written lease is standard practice for private land, while federal, state, or tribal land may have statutory or regulatory leasing requirements to meet before the relevant party may issue a lease.

This flowchart presumes a title opinion has already been obtained and the developer has already determined the rights that must be acquired in order to harvest the geothermal resource.


Land & Geothermal Resource Access Overview Process

3.1 - Does the Developer Plan To Engage in Coproduction?

If the developer plans to engage in coproduction of geothermal resources with oil and gas on the same project site, then the developer may be required to obtain a permit if they intend to sell energy the geothermal energy off-grid.

3.2 to 3.3 - Does the Developer Plan To Sell the Energy Off-Grid?

If the developer does not plan to sell energy off-grid, but instead only uses the energy derived from geothermal resources on the project site to assist in the development of oil and gas then no permit is necessary and the project may continue.

3.4 - Is the Project on Federally Managed Surface and/or Mineral Estate?

On a federal mineral estate managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the developer will need to obtain a Geothermal Resource Lease to develop geothermal resources, which is typically obtained from the BLM through the Competitive Geothermal Lease Sale Nomination Process or through a noncompetitive lease application for lands on which no bids were received at a competitive lease sale (the noncompetitive option extends for the two years following the competitive lease sale). The developer may obtain access to the land for certain exploration purposes without a lease with the approval of a Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations. Pursuant to the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, the Bureau of Land Management leases federal lands and reviews permit applications for geothermal development on those lands. The BLM’s authority encompasses about 570 million acres of BLM land, 193 million acres of National Forest System lands, other federal lands, and private lands where the Federal Government has retained mineral rights.

In most locations, BLM is responsible for the management of the federal mineral estate and issues geothermal leases for all lands owned or controlled by the federal government (such as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation). Some statutory exceptions give this authority to other agencies like the United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Energy, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc. Contact your local BLM office to see if any exceptions apply to your project location.

3.5 - Does the Project Involve a Federal Surface Estate and Non-Federal Geothermal Rights?

In these situations, the surface rights and geothermal rights for a piece of land are owned by different parties. (see BLM Instruction Memorandums: IM 2003-131 Split Estate and IM 2007-021 Split Estate Leasing and Planning).

In an instance that involves a federal surface estate and non-federal geothermal rights (i.e., geothermal rights under the control of a state, tribal, or private entity), when BLM or United States Forest Service is the surface management agency (the geothermal rights were not reserved to the Federal government), a special use permit or a right-of-way (ROW) may be required to occupy the surface. The drilling permit will be approved by the appropriate State agency. Contact the local BLM or USFS office for further instruction.

3.6 - Federal Right-of-Way Access

A ROW is a special use permit to occupy lands for specific purposes, like transmission lines, access roads, off-lease facility siting, or pipelines. A right-of-way is not required for on-lease activities (usually granted as a lease right), but is required for off lease activities.

The United States Department of Transportation, USFS, and BLM each have separate processes for surface land access, but the link below provides the general process:

Right-of-Way Access:
3-FD-c

3.7 – Does the Project Utilize a State-Owned Geothermal Resource?

If the project utilizes state-owned geothermal resources, then the developer must obtain a lease from the state in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

If the project does not utilize a state-owned resource, then the developer must negotiate and obtain a private geothermal resource lease.

3.8 - State Geothermal Resource Leasing

A geothermal developer may need to obtain a geothermal resource lease in order to develop on state lands.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources oversees the geothermal resource leasing process. For more information, see: State Competitive Mineral Leasing Process:
3-AK-a

California

In California, the California State Lands Commission is responsible for the management and administration of geothermal resources contained in state land. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-CA-a

Colorado

In Colorado, if the project is on locally managed land geothermal lease arranges must be made with the locality. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-CO-a

Hawaii

In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division oversees mineral leasing on reserved lands. For more information, see: Reserved Land Leasing Process:
3-HI-a

Idaho

In Idaho, the Idaho Department of Lands oversees mineral leasing on state lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-ID-a

Montana

In Montana, a developer must obtain a geothermal lease from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-MT-a

Nevada

In Nevada, geothermal resources belong to the surface property owner. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-NV-a

New Mexico

In New Mexico, a developer must obtain a geothermal lease from the New Mexico State Land Office to develop geothermal resources on State lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-NM-a

Oregon

In Oregon, the state owns all geothermal resources located on state land and some resources on land previously owned by the state. A developer must obtain a geothermal lease to develop geothermal resources in the State. For more information, see: Geothermal Lease:
3-OR-a

Texas

In Texas, the Texas General Land Office manages leasing of State lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-TX-a

Utah In Utah, the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands and the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration issues geothermal lease. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-UT-a

Washington

In Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources issues geothermal leases. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-WA-a

3.9 - Private Geothermal Resource Lease

If the project does not utilize a state-owned geothermal resource, then the developer must negotiate a geothermal resource lease with the private owner.

3.10 - Federal Geothermal Resource Lease

Leasing gives a developer the exclusive right to develop and utilize geothermal resources on a given federal site. A lease is required prior to doing all later stage work, and the lease contract specifies terms for development and payment of royalties and rents to the government. Surface rights for approved activities are included in the lease. Stipulations may be placed on leases to protect other resources through mitigation or restrictions on surface use.

Energy Policy Act of 2005
Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) amending the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, requiring that all public lands available for geothermal leasing be offered first by competitive leasing. Lease parcels that receive no bids are then available non-competitively for a period of two years. BLM may issue a non-competitive lease for direct-use only if there is no competitive interest. The maximum competitive lease size is 5,120 acres. The maximum acreage held by an individual/company in a state is 51,200 acres. Lease acreage held by production or committed to a unit agreement are exempt from the state-wide acreage limitation.

Competitive and Non-Competitive Leases
BLM issues competitive and non-competitive leases for geothermal exploration and development on lands owned or controlled by the federal government. Competitive lease sales must be held at least once every two years in states where nominations are pending. Both are issued for a 10-year period that can be extended for two subsequent five-year periods by completing diligence on the lease hold.

When is a lease required?
Exploration activities that cause a surface disturbance on federal land require a geothermal lease. Exploration activities that do not penetrate a geothermal reservoir (temperature gradient well, seismic, etc.) are permitted with an approved Notice to Intent Conduct (NOI) exploration and do not require a geothermal lease. The drilling of an exploration well to test a prospective reservoir requires that the applicant for a drilling permit have either a geothermal lease or operating rights.

The Geothermal-Biz website presents a brief introduction to geothermal leasing and permitting on federal and state land. The website includes details on leasing terms in western states, including the length of the lease, renewal terms, rentals, royalties and size limitations. Also note Geothermal Leasing 101: Federal, State and Private Lands, a presentation by Andrew T. Braff, Esq., at the Geothermal Resource Council's 33rd Annual Meeting, Reno, NV (October 2, 2009).

Federal Geothermal Land Leasing:
3-FD-a

3.11 - Does the Project Involve a Non-Federal Surface Estate and Federal Mineral Rights?

In these ownership situations, the surface rights and subsurface rights (such as the rights to develop minerals) for a piece of land are owned by different parties. Mineral rights (where geothermal rights are classified as mineral rights) are considered the dominant estate, meaning they take precedence over other rights associated with the property, including those associated with owning the surface. This means that the mineral estate owner has the right to enter onto the surface estate to access the minerals. However, the mineral owner must show due regard for the interests of the surface estate owner and occupy only those portions of the surface that are reasonably necessary to develop the mineral estate. Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 Mineral Leasing Act of 1920

The BLM's Split-Estate Policy only applies to situations where the surface rights are in private ownership and the rights to development of the mineral resources are publicly held and managed by the Federal government.

For a general review of exploration and development in these ownership situations, see the Gold Book on Split Estate (2007).

3.12 - No Permit Needed; Continue with Project

If the project is not on non-federal surface land with federal-owned minerals, then the project may continue without a permit.

3.13 - Will the Project Encroach on a State or Local Highway Right, or State Owned Surface Estate?

If the project activity (i.e. pipeline, fences, access roads, etc.) encroaches on a state or local highway, then the developer may need a state highway encroachment permit. See, 3.15 – State Highway Encroachment Permits, below.

If the project is located on a state-owned surface estate, then the developer must comply with any applicable state land access rules and permitting requirements. The developer may require land access over a state surface estate for roads or transmission lines.

If the project is not on state-owned surface estate, then the developer must work with the surface owner to obtain a surface access agreement.

3.14 - State Land Access

On state land, the access process varies from state to state, in large part due to the inconsistent definition of a geothermal resource and the level of control the state exerts over geothermal resources. To access the geothermal resource, a developer may be required to obtain a state geothermal lease by either competitive or noncompetitive means, a state surface lease, or a temporary permit for exploration activities. Developers may obtain other forms of surface access through a right-of-way, or other use authorization to access state lands.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water oversees land use within the state and issues right-of-ways, easements or permits to use state lands. For more information, see: State Right-of-Way Process:
3-AK-b

California In California, a developer will need to obtain a right-of-way lease from the California State Lands Commission (Commission) if any portion of the project, such as roads, power lines, or pipelines, will cross over or occupy certain state land under the jurisdiction of the Commission. For more information, see:

State Land Right-of-Way:
3-CA-b

Colorado In Colorado, the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners may grant rights-of-way for, among other things, electric power lines for the operation of utilities. For more information, see:

State Land Right-of-Way:
3-CO-b

Hawaii In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division oversee mineral leasing on State Lands in Hawaii. For more information, see:

State Land Access Lease:
3-HI-b

Idaho In Idaho, a developer must obtain a right-of-way from the Idaho Department of Lands for a project located on State lands. For more information, see:

State Land Access Permits:
3-ID-b

Montana

In Montana, developers seeking to utilize state lands not included within a geothermal lease must submit an application for a lease, right-of-way, or easement to the Montana State Land Board. For more information, see: State Land Lease:
3-MT-b

New Mexico

In New Mexico, a developer may need a right-of-way easement for development on or over State lands. For more information, see: State Right-of -Way Easement:
3-NM-b

Nevada

In Nevada, a developer seeking a lease or a right-of-way on State lands must obtain an Application for Authorization to Use State Land from the Nevada Division of State Lands. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-NV-b

Oregon

In Oregon, a developer may need an easement to develop on State lands from the Oregon Department of State Lands. For more information, see: Easements on Trust and Non-Trust Land:
3-OR-b

Texas

In Texas, a developer may need a lease from the Texas General Land Office to use State owned land. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-TX-b

Utah

In Utah, a developer may need an easement from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to develop on State lands. For more information, see: State Land Easement:
3-UT-b

Washington

In Washington, a developer must obtain a permit or lease from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to access State lands. For more information, see: Land Access Overview:
3-WA-b

3.15 — State Highway Encroachment Permits

State and local governments require an encroachment permit for any object placed in, over, or under a local or state highway right-of-way (i.e. towers, poles, pipelines, fences, and other structures), as well as when a private access road or driveway joins a public road.

Alaska

In Alaska, a developer may need a State Highway Right-of-Way Permit for projects that encroach on a State highway right-of-way. For more information, see: State Highway Right-of-Way Permit:
3-AK-c

California

In California, the California Department of Transportation requires an encroachment permit for all activities related to the placement of encroachments within, under or over California highway right-of-ways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permit:
3-CA-c

Colorado

In Colorado, a developer may need a State Highway Access Permit and/or a State Utility-Special Use Permit for projects that encroach on State highway right-of-ways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-CO-c

Hawaii

In Hawaii, a developer needs a Use and Occupancy Permit from the Hawaii Department of Transportation for projects that will are adjacent to and within a State highway right-of way. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-HI-c

Idaho

In Idaho, a developer may need a State Highway Encroachment Permit from the Idaho Transportation Department to add, modify, relocate, maintain, or remove an encroachment on the State highway or within the State highway right-of-way. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permit:
3-ID-c

Montana

In Montana, a developer may need a State Highway Encroachment Permit for projects that encroach on State highways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-MT-c

New Mexico

In New Mexico, a developer may need an State Highway Encroachment Permit from the New Mexico Department of Transportation for projects that encroach on existing State right-of-ways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-NM-c

Nevada

In Nevada, a developer may need a State Highway Encroachment Permit for projects that encroach on any Nevada street, highway, or other right-of-way. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permit:
3-NV-c

Oregon

In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation issues permits for encroachments on State highway right-of-ways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permit:
3-OR-c

Texas

In Texas, a developer may need a State highway encroachment permit for projects that encroach on existing State highway right-of-ways. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-TX-c

Utah

In Utah, a developer may need a highway encroachment permit from the Utah Department of Transportation for projects that are within a State highway right-of-way. For more information, see:

State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-UT-c

Washington

In Washington State, developers who plan to place utility lines in a state highway right-of-way will need to obtain Utility Permit or Franchise from the Washington State Department of Transportation. For more information, see: State Highway Encroachment Permits:
3-WA-c

3.16 - Work with Surface Owner on Surface Access Agreement

On a private surface estate or mineral estate, the developer will be required to negotiate a private lease or easement when the individual landowner. The operator must make a good faith effort to notify the private surface owner before entering private surface to stake a well location and access road or to conduct cultural or biological surveys. Each Geothermal Drilling Permit (GDP), NOS, or Sundry Notice permitting new surface disturbing activities must contain the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if available), of the private surface owner.

The BLM will invite the surface owner to participate in the onsite and final reclamation inspections and will take into consideration the needs of the surface owner when reviewing the APD and reclamation plans and when approving final abandonment and reclamation. The BLM will offer the surface owner the same level of surface protection that the BLM provides on Federal surface. The BLM will not apply standards or conditions that exceed those that would normally be applied to Federal surface, even when requested by the surface owner.

Prior to approval of the APD (or Sundry Notice to conduct new surface disturbing activities), the operator must certify as part of the complete application that a good faith effort had been made to reach a surface use agreement with the private surface owner and that an agreement was reached or that it failed.

BLM Requires that the Operator engage the Surface Owner in negotiations for the purpose of obtaining a surface use agreement:

  • Surface Owner agreement for access, or
  • Waiver from surface owner for access, or
  • Agreement regarding compensation


Failing an agreement, the operator can “bond-on” for the benefit of the surface owner to cover compensation, such as for reasonable and foreseeable loss of crops and damages to tangible improvements. Bonding-on is a very rare occurrence. There are 2 types of Bonds:

3104 “Performance” Bond–Required (43 CFR 3104)
* Ensures Performance During Drilling, Production, Plugging and Abandonment, Reclamation
* Minimum Bond Amounts:
* $10,000 Per Lease
* $25,000 Statewide
* $150,000 Nationwide
Surface Owner Protection Bond (a.k.a. Damages Bond or 3814 Bond) (43 CFR 3814)
* If the lessee/operator and surface owner fail to reach a Surface Use Agreement
* Coverage (Depends on statute under which the land was patented.)
* For example, under the Stock Raising Homestead Act : Reasonable & foreseeable damages to Crops (including grazing lands)and Tangible Improvements
* Minimum Bond = $1,000

Once the Bond is filed with BLM, with a copy to the surface owner, the Surface owner has 30 days to object. BLM reviews the objections and:

  • Rejects bond: Operator has 30 days to appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA)
  • Accepts bond: Surface owner has 30 days to appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals

Prior to approving the APD, the BLM will advise the surface owner of the right to object to the sufficiency of the bond and will review the value of the bond if the surface owner objects. The BLM will either confirm the current bond amount or establish a new amount. Once the operator has filed an adequate bond, the BLM may approve the APD. Following APD approval, the operator and the surface owner may appeal the BLM’s final decision on the bond amount.

The operator must negotiate in good faith with the surface owner. Negotiating in good faith provides a forum through which the operator and surface owner can discuss the preferences and needs of both the surface owner and the operator. In addressing those needs, the operator may be able to modify the development proposal to both minimize damage to the surface owner’s property while reducing reclamation and surface damage costs. For example, operator costs can might be minimized by placing roads and facilities in locations that meet the surface owner’s long-term development plans for the property, thereby lessening the future reclamation obligations of the operator.

The surface use agreement between the surface owner and the operator is confidential. However, the APD Surface Use Plan of Operations must contain sufficient detail about any aspects of the agreement necessary for NEPA documentation and to determine that the operations will be in compliance with laws, regulations, Onshore Orders, and agency policies. When the operator submits its Surface Use Plan of Operations to the BLM, the operator must make a good faith effort to provide a copy to the surface owner. Following APD approval, the operator must also provide a copy of the Conditions of Approval to the surface owner. In addition, the operator must make a good faith effort to provide a copy of any proposal involving new surface disturbance to the private surface owner.

BLM conducts inspections based on a priority ranking system. If a surface owner detects noncompliance, they should contact the BLM. BLM will investigate and take appropriate enforcement action.

3.17 - Letter to Surface Owner

The Bureau of Land Management makes an effort to work with the surface owner and sends formal documentation of such efforts in the form of a letter.

3.18 - Is the Project on a Tribal Surface and/or Mineral Estate?

On tribal land, the developer will negotiate with the individual tribe for land access, which may require approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The process will vary depending on whether the developer is seeking access to a surface estate or mineral estate and whether the tribe has been granted the authority to operate without BIA approval by the Secretary of the Interior. The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. Within the government-to-government relationship, BIA provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 566 federally recognized tribes with a service population of about 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. While the role of the BIA has changed significantly in the last three decades in response to a greater emphasis on Indian self-governance and self-determination, Tribes still look to the BIA for a broad spectrum of services.

3.19 - Tribal Land Leasing

Under a Tribal Energy Resource Agreement (TERA) a tribe may enter into leases and business agreements for the purpose of energy resource development on tribal land for:

  • Exploration for, extraction of, or other development of the energy mineral resources of the Indian tribal located on tribal land including, but not limited to, marketing or distribution;
  • Construction or operation of an electric generation, transmission, or distribution facility located on tribal land; and
  • A facility to process or refine energy resources developed on tribal land.

Under an approved TERA, a tribe may grant rights-of-way for the purpose of energy resource development on tribal land for construction or operation of a pipeline or electric transmission or distribution line serving:

  • An electric generation, transmission, or distribution facility located on tribal land, or
  • A facility located on tribal land that processing or refines energy resources developed on tribal land.

For tribes that do not elect to pursue a TERA or for energy resources that are not included in an existing TERA, existing regulatory programs for energy resource development on Indian Lands are available.

The Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse has compiled various applicable Laws and Regulations for geothermal energy development on tribal lands specifically.

Tribal Land Leasing:
3-FD-b

3.20 - Is the Project on a State Surface and/or Utilize State Geothermal Resources?

The individual state lands agency (board) is responsible for the leasing of geothermal resources.

3.21 - Does the Project Involve State Surface Land and Geothermal Rights?

If the project is on state-owned surface land and has non-state geothermal, then the developer must obtain a private geothermal resource lease.

If the project is not on a state-owned surface estate, but utilizes state geothermal rights, then the developer must go through the state geothermal resource leasing process and work with the private surface owner on a surface access agreement. If the project is on a state-owned surface estate and geothermal right, the developer will likely only need to complete the State Geothermal Resource Leasing process, unless part of the surface estate is managed by another state agency.

3.22 - State Geothermal Resource Leasing

A geothermal developer may need to obtain a geothermal resource lease in order to develop on state lands.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources oversees the geothermal resource leasing process. For more information, see: State Competitive Mineral Leasing Process:
3-AK-a

California

In California, the California State Lands Commission is responsible for the management and administration of geothermal resources contained in state land. For more information, see:

State Geothermal Lease:
3-CA-a

Colorado

In Colorado, if the project is on locally managed land geothermal lease arranges must be made with the locality. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-CO-a

Hawaii

In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division oversees mineral leasing on reserved lands. For more information, see: Reserved Land Leasing Process:
3-HI-a

Idaho In Idaho, the Idaho Department of Lands oversees mineral leasing on state lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-ID-a

3.22 - State Geothermal Resource Leasing

A geothermal developer may need to obtain a geothermal resource lease in order to develop on state lands.

Alaska In Alaska, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources oversees the geothermal resource leasing process. For more information, see: State Competitive Mineral Leasing Process:
3-AK-a

California In California, the California State Lands Commission is responsible for the management and administration of geothermal resources contained in state land. For more information, see:

State Geothermal Lease:
3-CA-a

Colorado In Colorado, if the project is on locally managed land geothermal lease arranges must be made with the locality. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-CO-a

Hawaii

In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division oversees mineral leasing on reserved lands. For more information, see: Reserved Land Leasing Process:
3-HI-a

Idaho In Idaho, the Idaho Department of Lands oversees mineral leasing on state lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-ID-a

Montana


In Montana, a developer must obtain a geothermal lease from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-MT-a

Nevada

In Nevada, geothermal resources belong to the surface property owner. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-NV-a

New Mexico

In New Mexico, a developer must obtain a geothermal lease from the New Mexico State Land Office to develop geothermal resources on State lands. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-NM-a

Oregon

In Oregon, the state owns all geothermal resources located on state land and some resources on land previously owned by the state. A developer must obtain a geothermal lease to develop geothermal resources in the State. For more information, see: Geothermal Lease:
3-OR-a

Texas

In Texas, the Texas General Land Office manages leasing of State lands. For more information, see:

State Geothermal Lease:
3-TX-a

Utah

In Utah, the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands and the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration issues geothermal lease. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-UT-a

Washington

In Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources issues geothermal leases. For more information, see: State Geothermal Lease:
3-WA-a


3.23 - Work with Surface Owner on Surface Access Agreement (If Non-State Surface)

When a developer is required to comply with state geothermal resource leasing, the developer will also be required to negotiate access to the surface land through an access agreement with the surface owner.

3.24 - Private Geothermal Resource Lease

If the project is located in an area where the state owns the surface estate and a non-state entity owns the geothermal rights, then the developer is required to negotiate and obtain a private geothermal resource lease from the geothermal owner.

3.25 - State Land Access

On state land, the access process varies from state to state, in large part due to the inconsistent definition of a geothermal resource and the level of control the state exerts over geothermal resources. To access the geothermal resource, a developer may be required to obtain a state geothermal lease by either competitive or noncompetitive means, a state surface lease, or a temporary permit for exploration activities. Developers may obtain other forms of surface access through a right-of-way, or other use authorization to access state lands.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water oversees land use within the state and issues right-of-ways, easements or permits to use state lands. For more information, see: State Right-of-Way Process:
3-AK-b

California

In California, a developer will need to obtain a right-of-way lease from the California State Lands Commission (Commission) if any portion of the project, such as roads, power lines, or pipelines, will cross over or occupy certain state land under the jurisdiction of the Commission. For more information, see:

State Land Right-of-Way:
3-CA-b

Colorado


In Colorado, the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners may grant rights-of-way for, among other things, electric power lines for the operation of utilities. For more information, see:

State Land Right-of-Way:
3-CO-b

Hawaii

In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division oversee mineral leasing on State Lands in Hawaii. For more information, see:

State Land Access Lease:
3-HI-b

Idaho

In Idaho, a developer must obtain a right-of-way from the Idaho Department of Lands for a project located on State lands. For more information, see: State Land Access Permits:
3-ID-b

Montana

In Montana, developers seeking to utilize state lands not included within a geothermal lease must submit an application for a lease, right-of-way, or easement to the Montana State Land Board. For more information, see: State Land Lease:
3-MT-b

New Mexico In New Mexico, a developer may need a right-of-way easement for development on or over State lands. For more information, see: State Right-of -Way Easement:
3-NM-b

Nevada

In Nevada, a developer seeking a lease or a right-of-way on State lands must obtain an Application for Authorization to Use State Land from the Nevada Division of State Lands. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-NV-b

Oregon

In Oregon, a developer may need an easement to develop on State lands from the Oregon Department of State Lands. For more information, see: Easements on Trust and Non-Trust Land:
3-OR-b

Texas

In Texas, a developer may need a lease from the Texas General Land Office to use State owned land. For more information, see: State Land Access:
3-TX-b

Utah

In Utah, a developer may need an easement from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to develop on State lands. For more information, see: State Land Easement:
3-UT-b

Washington

In Washington, a developer must obtain a permit or lease from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to access State lands. For more information, see: Land Access Overview:
3-WA-b


3.26 to 3.28 - Is the Project on Private Surface and Utilizes Private Geothermal Resources?

If the project is on a private surface estate and utilizes privately owned geothermal resources, the developer must negotiate a lease with the geothermal resource owner. If the surface estate is owned by another private party, the developer may want to negotiate a surface access agreement with the surface owner. In addition, if the developer will require access over privately held land that does not overly the geothermal right, the developer may need to negotiate additional for land access.




Contact Information

| Add a Contact


Regulations

| Add a Regulation


References

| Add a Reference


Print PDF