The Business Committee of the Ute Indian Tribe has approved definitive operating pre-incorporation and joint venture agreements with Republic International Corp., a Salt Lake City-based oil and gas company, for the reworking of shut-in oil and gas wells on the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation in eastern Utah.

Approval of the agreement was announced by Republic and tribe officials. A letter of intent concerning these agreements was signed in January, according to Luke Duncan, business committee chairman, and Robert D. Radcliffe, Republic president.The first phase of the agreements provides for reworking five shut-in wells on the reservation. Thereafter, Republic plans that 10 tribal wells per year will be reworked using technologies from Republic's enhanced oil recovery process.

The reservation includes 1.5 million acres on which several major oil companies have drilled oil wells to depths of more than 5,000 feet. Many wells in the Uintah Basin are in danger of being abandoned because of the high paraffin content in the oil.

Subject to the success of the first phase, the agreements also provide for the incorporation of a joint venture company between RIC and the tribe. RIC, through the joint venture, will sponsor studies of these high paraffin crudes to determine the feasibility of locating a petrochemical complex in the Uintah Basin.