OGCC Secretary Update

Mick Thomas

Division Administrator – Minerals, Public Trust, and Oil & Gas

Secretary to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

This update was sent to the Commission on Saturday, February 8.

Current Items:
OGCC Regular Meeting
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Class II Injection Well
Pipeline / Gathering Line
News Article(s) of Interest

OGCC Regular Meeting
Our winter meeting was February 5 at the Boise City Council Chambers. The Commission voted on two items – continuing the S.T.R.O.N.G.E.R. review and the Roles of the Commission. Those votes will be finalized at the next regular Commission meeting. There was also a technical presentation by Mark Barton with the Idaho Geological Survey. As a reminder, the Survey is the lead state agency for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of geologic and mineral data for Idaho, while the Commission and IDL serve a regulatory role. The material is posted on the OGCC website and was well received by the Commission and many in attendance.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The Department received written notice from Snake River Oil & Gas LLC on January 21, 2020 (revised January 24, 2020) that they would be assuming operations for properties listing AM Idaho LLC as operator. On January 24, 2020 High Mesa Inc. and its subsidiaries (including AM Idaho, LLC) filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas.

As of this update, Snake River Oil & Gas has submitted its Organization Report and Designation of Agent form with the Department, along with a list of wells and Gathering Facility equipment for which it would be assuming operations. Snake River Oil & Gas is in the process of finalizing bonding for the wells being transferred. The bond submitted by AM Idaho LLC is still being held by the Department, and no immediate plans for release are planned at this point. Snake River proactively shut the field in as a safety precaution until their bonding is finalized.

Class II injection well
Through email communication the EPA has shared that the Class II permit material can be used by the new majority owner Snake River Oil &Gas. There will likely be a new application filed, or at the least a transfer of applicant with the existing application.

Snake River O&G indicates they have contacted the Region 10 EPA office in Seattle to apply for a transfer of applicant for the DJS 2-14 Class II Injection Well application from AM Idaho to Snake River O&G. EPA indicated that they were preparing a list of conditions for the applicant regarding the permit.

Pipeline / Gathering Line
Installation of the lines connecting the Fallon & Barlow wells to the LW gathering facility continues. Commissioner Shigeta was in the field yesterday and confirmed that boring under 95 is likely done. The Department has also had communication with the Public Utilities Commission and their inspector continues to monitor operations. The company doing the work is Performance Energy Services out of Colorado (https://performanceenergy.net/), and local coordination is provided by HTI (Bob Hatfield). There are 40 bores anticipated under waterways, roadways as they connect the new wells to existing facilities.

News Article(s) of Interest
Texas court finds that midstream operations are real property that cannot be excluded in Alta Mesa bankruptcy:

Alta Mesa sites “weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting” as reason for 500% oversell in its initial stock price.

Lawsuit planned to stop Idaho-Wyo. natural gas pipeline (PDF)

Permit withdrawn for 229 mile natural gas pipeline across southwest Oregon. Oregon environmental laws cited as reason for withdrawl.

Trump administration approves Keystone pipeline through Montana

Wyoming lawmakers push legislation to use states coal for alternative products rather than for energy (PDF).