States face the challenge of developing institutions to govern the activities of social actors when an area under their control becomes the target of increased extractive activities. National and local public regulations safeguarding the environment, the assignment of extractive rights to individuals or companies, and handling of ensuing conflicts are developed in an institutional gray zone. This paper analyzes how informal institutions developed in early period become hybrid institutional entanglements that depend largely on configurations of power. It does so by looking at two cases in Peru: water extraction in Ica, mostly by large companies, and gold mining in Madre de Dios, mostly by small-scale miners. Taken together, these cases show that the institutions resulting from state governance of extractive activities depend heavily on the agency and political leverage of the state but also of other social actors.