Wyoming is exploring a deal to buy several hundred thousand acres of land in Utah

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is evaluating the deal to buy land from the Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

(CNN)A large portion of land in Utah may soon belong to Wyoming if a proposed deal is approved.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is considering purchasing the surface and mineral rights along the Union Pacific Railroad corridor, which stretches across southern Wyoming to northeastern Utah and parts of northern Colorado. The rail corridor runs near Interstate 80.
In total, the deal encompasses approximately 4 million acres of mineral rights and 1 million acres of surface rights. The Salt Lake Tribune estimates the deal includes nearly 600,000 acres in Northern Utah and about a third that much land in north central Colorado.
    Wyoming Governor is considering a deal to buy land from the Occidental Petroleum Coproration.
    There may be legal hurdles standing in the way, even if an agreement is reached and it passes the public review process. It remains to be seen if the state of Utah would challenge the legality of such a purchase.
    "The purchase of surface and mineral rights within Utah by a foreign state raises numerous complex legal issues that would require substantial research and analysis," a spokesman for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes told CNN. "As such, we are unable to comment at this time."
    CNN reached out to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser's office for comment, but didn't get a callback.
    The surface and mineral rights currently belong to Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), which is an "international oil and gas exploration and production company," according to the Wyoming governor's website.
    When OXY merged with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in August 2019, it acquired the parcels of land.
    A spokeswoman for OXY declined to comment to CNN.
    The Wyoming Legislature passed Senate File 138 on Thursday, which outlines a process for the land to be evaluated, and it gives the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners the authority to proceed with evaluating the land and minerals.
    "With the passage of Senate File 138, we have taken the first step in a long and thoughtful process that can put private lands into Wyoming hands," Gordon told CNN. "I'm committed to ensuring that our State gives this potential investment its proper due diligence to determine if this purchase would benefit Wyoming citizens and create new revenues."
      If an agreement in principle is reached between the state of Wyoming and OXY, it establishes a public review process over the details of the proposed purchase.
      Gordon said that the property must prove to be a "meaningful long-term investment" that provides state revenues for generations to come. The purchase would also have to prove to be an opportunity for multiple use, which would include grazing, recreation, public access, energy and minerals.