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Unit Corp. sues over oil lease in Oklahoma

Tulsa-based Unit Corp. is in a legal battle with the Kikiallus Nation, a Washington state-based tribe that is not federally recognized. The tribe's court has claimed to seize control of a Unit well in Beaver County.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: January 28, 2014
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Weinreich, also known as Kurt Kanam, is listed with the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation as working in cultural resources for the Kikiallus Nation. He also is an administrator for both the Kikiallus Nation and TMI Ministries.

Phone calls and emails to Kanam were not returned.

The case involves an oil and gas lease Unit entered into in 2010.

The Kikiallus Nation claimed in the tribal court filings that the lease expired in July 2013.

Unit, however, said it has completed an oil well on the lease, which is now considered held by production. Unit said it owns a 60 percent interest in the lease and that Deep Basin Drilling Program LP controls the remaining 40 percent.

Unit has asked the district court for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction against the tribe.

Unit said in the filing that Kurt Kanam has a history of attempting to convince state and federal courts “to enforce the improperly obtained tribal court judgments.”

Alaska District Court in July 2012 granted a preliminary injunction against Kanam, who was listed as a tribal attorney and judge of the Karluk Tribal Court in Alaska.

In that case, Kanam and the tribal court found that the Native Village of Karluk should receive damages from federal land trust Koniag Inc. equal to what parties received in a 1984 settlement.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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