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Wind Farm Pitted Against Oil & Gas Mineral Estate in Osage County, OK

by Kenneth E. DuBose on August 18, 2011

An Osage Nation wind farm is pitted against the tribe’s very own oil & gas mineral estate. Plans for the wind farm will likely be altered and development could be limited. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a statement reminding the indian tribe that mineral rights were reserved in 1906 and the mineral rights are dominant. That means any surface agreements for the development of a wind farm are at the mercy of the needs of potential oil & gas development.

While not surprising, it will be interesting to see how this develops. Is there enough space to accomodate both the wind farm and the mineral estate in Osage County, OK, or will development plans be changed?

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the proposed wind farm development in Osage County may interfere with the Osage Nation’s mineral estate. In a letter sent to Osage County Commissioners and Osage Nation representatives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs stated the mineral rights in Osage County were retained by the Osage Nation in 1906 and that “the oil and gas rights are the dominant estate, and the surface is the subservient estate.” “Thus, the mineral estate cannot be denied reasonable access to the surface, and may, indeed, use so much of the surface as may be necessary to develop and produce the minerals.”

Read the full news release at

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