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Idaho Mineral Owners Want Answers Before Signing on the Dotted Line

by Elizabeth Alford on August 20, 2015

Residents of rural Idaho are pushing back against petroleum company Alta Mesa’s plan to drill for natural gas in their neighborhood.

Several dozens mineral owners in Fruitland must decide soon whether they will agree to lease their land for drilling or whether they will stand in the way of others doing the same.

Alta Mesa is hoping to integrate two 640-acre parcels in the area, which will allow a 55% majority to potentially force the others to agree to drilling, despite their wishes. Idaho lawmakers approved an integration measure earlier this year that allows the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to act when a minority of mineral rights holders decline to take part in developing a potentially profitable oil or gas field.

Join the discussion: Integration: Should Majority Rule? – Mineral Rights Forum

At a recent local meeting, Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz tried to calm the anxiety of more that 140 people in attendance. He answered questions from concerned landowners and explained natural gas exploration and the state regulations.

The Oil and Gas Commission will hold a hearing on Alta Mesa’s application for integration September 16th. After its decision, residents will have at least 15 days to make their own choices and the commission can give them more time if they choose.

 

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