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Utah Geothermal Steam Lease (Utah Non-Trust Lands) (3-UT-d)

The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (UFFSL) administers the sale, exchange, and lease of state lands in Utah. UFFSL has promulgated a specific provision in its rules governing geothermal resources in rule R652-20-3400. This rule provides the developer with the necessary information to understand the requirements for acquiring a geothermal lease from the state of Utah, along with the required information that must be included in applications for a geothermal steam lease. It is worth noting, however, that the developer will still be required to obtain a permit to appropriate the geothermal fluids from the Utah Division of Water Rights before having the legal right to develop the geothermal resource on the leased lands.


Geothermal Steam Lease (Utah Non-Trust Lands) Process

3-UT-d.1 to 3-UT-d.2 – Is the Project on Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands

If the project is on Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands, it is under the jurisdiction of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (UTLA). To obtain a geothermal steam lease from UTLA, see the following flowchart.

Geothermal Steam Lease (Utah Trust Lands):
3-UT-e

3-UT-d.3 – Application for Geothermal Steam Lease

Geothermal resources contained in or under Utah state lands are reserved to the state. UFFSL may only sell the geothermal resource through a lease and royalty basis (R652-20-3400). An application for a geothermal steam lease should be made upon a form provided by UFFSL. The application is subject to all mineral management statutes and rules.


3-UT-d.4 – Review Application

After receiving the complete application, UFFSL will review each application and consult with applicants to negotiate the appropriate lease terms.


3-UT-d.5 – Does the State Own the Lands Fee Simple?

Geothermal steam leases are issued only on lands where the state of Utah owns both the surface and mineral rights (fee simple), unless lessee agrees to accept as part of his lease agreement the "Addendum to Geothermal Steam Lease and Agreement", adopted by UFFSL on March 20, 1974.


3-UT-d.6 and 3-UT-d.7 - Are there Federally Reserved Mineral Rights?

When the state does not own the lands fee simple and there are federally reserved mineral rights, the developer may be required to obtain a geothermal resource lease from the managing federal government entity. A federal reservation of mineral rights will preempt the Utah state law designation of geothermal resources as a water right therefore retaining ownership of the geothermal right in the federal government. The developer may wish to contact the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, of whichever federal agency has jurisdiction over the lands in question. Please see the following flowchart linked below for more information on the federal leasing process.

Federal Land Leasing:
3-FD-a


3-UT-d.8 - Does the Developer Accept the Addendum to Geothermal Steam Lease and Agreement?

Geothermal steam leases are issued only on lands where the state of Utah owns both the surface and mineral rights (fee simple), unless lessee agrees to accept as part of his lease agreement the "Addendum to Geothermal Steam Lease and Agreement", adopted by UFFSL on March 20, 1974.


3-UT-d.9 – Geothermal Steam Lease

The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands issues the developer a Geothermal Steam Lease. The mineral lease must contain:

  • The rights of the lessee;
  • The terms of the lease;
  • The annual rental and royalties;
  • The rights reserved to the lessor;
  • Bonds;
  • Reporting of technical data;
  • Operational requirements;
  • Lessee's consent to suit in any dispute arising under the terms of the lease or as a result of operations carried on under the lease;
  • Procedures for notification;
  • Transfers of interest by lessee;
  • Establishment of water rights and water usage;
  • Discovery of other minerals;
  • Terms and conditions of lease forfeiture;
  • Protection of the state from liability from all actions of lessee; and
  • All other provisions that the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands deems necessary to protect the interest of the state and to fulfill the purpose of R652-20


3-UT-d.10 – Submit Bond Before Commencing Operations

The lessee must file the required bond prior to commencing any operations on lands of the state. Specific bond requirements can be found in R652-20-2800.




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Edit Utah Department of Natural Resources
State Easement Process and Geothermal Steam Leasing (Utah Non-Trust Lands) Contact
801.538.5540
lauraault@utahabbazabbagov
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Edit Utah Department of Natural Resources
Geothermal Steam Lease Contact (Utah Non-Trust Lands)
801.538.5421
jamiebarnes@utahabbazabbagov
Visit Website