Observer: Gas Drilling Resumes in Payette County


Idaho's next chapter of drilling for natural gas has begun.

The Argus Observer reports that drivers northeast of New Plymouth or east of Payette may spot flames spouting from natural gas well testing in the region.

The Observer's Larry Meyer reports that Snake River Oil and Gas has launched "intensive testing" at three wells to help determine production viability. The testing is expected to last two to three weeks.

Snake River, in partnership with Alta Mesa Holdings, purchased a number of wells from Bridge Resources in 2012 after the Canadian-based company liquidated many of its assets in the wake of financial troubles at the height of its 2011 drilling operations.

Snake River is currently testing wells purchased from Bridge Resources. No new drills have been drilled.

Snake River negotiated hundreds of land and mineral leases with Idahoans before undergoing a unique process in 2012 called "vibroseising," using long, black cables attached to 12 metal stakes driven into the ground. A separate set of seismic cables, crisscrossing the geophone cables, sent sound waves into the ground. The cables were fed seismic waves from a "vibe truck," which dropped 3-foot by 6-foot metal pads to the ground to shake the earth.

John Foster, lobbyist, political consultant and spokesman for Snake River Oil and Gas, told the Observer that the recent drilling is "conventional" without the use of fracking—the controversial method of enhancing gas flows through the high-pressured injection of solids and fluids into the earth's crust. Foster reiterated to Citydesk that no new wells had been drilled and the current testing is being conducted on wells previously drilled by Bridge Resources.