Steve Ritter found this oil derrick growing out of a cornfield a mile outside of New Plymouth, he found that there had been a major oil and gas discovery in Payette County.
NATURAL GAS DISCOVERED IN PAYETTE COUNTY
New Plymouth--In Payette County, oil derricks are springing up out of corn fields, and it’s the latest twist in Idaho’s quest for homegrown energy.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter told the Idaho Statesman that the discovery is “a hell of a big natural gas well” that could offer one million cubic feet a day of ‘sweet gas’, sweet gas needs no processing and can be piped directly into natural gas pipelines for immediate use.
The wells are in sandstone near Idaho Power Co.’s Langley Gulch power station near New Plymouth. They’re expected to feed gas directly into a nearby pipeline on the Williams Northwest Pipeline System. Overall there were 29 test wells drilled in the area, 18 look promising and two are producing gas right now.
Governor Otter is excited about the project because at least one well is on state land, he says natural gas wells could provide the state a new revenue source from royalties and taxes.
According to the State Land Board the well on state land could return more than 12.5 percent royalties directly to the state. Idaho Power is also excited about the discovery because they’re planning on building a natural gas co-generation plant just a few miles from the discovery site.
Up until this year there has been no oil or gas production in Idaho, despite the fact that oil companies have been drilling test sites in the Gem State since 1900, the last test well was drilled back in 1988 in Payette, but it didn’t pan out.
Bridge Corp. and Paramax Limited out of Calgary are conducting the drilling operations and they’re looking to expand seismic and drilling operations outside of Payette and throughout the Boise Basin where they have more than 100,000 acres under lease.
The operations manager for the gas exploration company says it's too early to categorize this as a major discovery. "We have had some encouragement there," said Jeff Kirn. "We have wells that look promising, and we plan to do more.”