Court Ruling On Oklahoma Tribal Land Raises Questions For Oil Industry

“HOUSTON – A U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing about half of Oklahoma as Native American reservation land has implications for oil and gas development in the state, raising complex regulatory and tax questions that could take years to settle, according to Oklahoma attorneys.

The court on Thursday overturned an Oklahoma tribe member’s rape conviction because the location where the crime was committed should have been considered reservation land and therefore outside the reach of state criminal law.

The decision does not affect property ownership, but attorneys said it has regulatory and tax implications within reservation lands of the state’s “Five Tribes” – Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. Oklahoma was the fourth-largest U.S. crude oil producer last year, accounting for about 5% of production, according to government data.”

Jennifer Hiller reports for Reuters July 10, 2020.