AP: State Turns Down Oil Company Request to Cut Feds Out of Royalties

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State officials have turned down a Texas oil company's request to cut the Bureau of Land Management from its interest in a potentially profitable oil field in Payette County, the Associated Press reports. 

Alta Mesa, a Houston-based oil company, asked the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to cut the BLM's 30 percent interest from 187 acres out of a 615-acre drilling unit, arguing that BLM hadn't put the land up for lease in a reasonable amount of time, slowing progress on drilling there.

However, the agency told commissioners that, according to regulations, use of the land requires public comment and an environmental assessment. The commission voted 3-2 against approving the request.

Half of funds raised from the royalties go to the state of Idaho.