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Idaho Code title 47, chapter 3 – Proposed Statutory Changes

The third draft text of proposed statutory changes has been posted to the Idaho Code title 47, chapter 3 – Proposed Statutory Changes webpage.  The third draft text will be presented to the Commission at the February 15, 2022 regular meeting for the Commission to provide oral comment. The Commission will also accept public comment at the meeting (see OGCC meeting agenda for sign-up requirements) and will accept written comment on the third draft text from February 15- February 22, 2022.

OGCC Secretary Update – February 2022

Mick Thomas

Division Administrator – Minerals, Navigable Waters, and Oil & Gas

Secretary to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

This update was sent to the Commission on Friday, February 4, 2022.

February 2022 Secretary Update

Current Items:
February OGCC Meeting
Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
Injection Well Update
Federal Orphaned Well Funding
Field Status
News Article(s) of Interest
Current Prices

February OGCC Meeting
The first regular OGCC meeting of 2022 will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at the Idaho Department of Lands Office, Garnet Conference Room, 300 N. 6th St., Suite 103, Boise, Idaho. The meeting will begin at 1:30pm and will be conducted in-person and have a teleconference option. More information on the OGCC meetings can be found at https://ogcc.idaho.gov/commission-meetings/

Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
The Department received oral comments from the OGCC at the January 5, 2022 special meeting and received three written comments on the second draft text. The Department will be reviewing those comments and working on a third draft text to present to the OGCC at the February 15, 2022 regular meeting. More information on this can be found at https://ogcc.idaho.gov/rules-and-statutes/47-3-changes/

Injection Well Update
The Department published the following information on the OGCC website on January 14, 2022:
https://ogcc.idaho.gov/epa-to-accept-comments-on-a-class-ii-injection-well-application-for-the-willow-field/
The comment period for the application ends on February 28, 2022. IDL will be providing comments on the technical aspects of the application. The Commission will not be providing comments on the application.
The EPA has regulatory authority over the class II injection program in Idaho. This is because IDWR asked EPA to accept primacy in 2017.

Federal Orphaned Well Funding
In coordination with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Biden administration announced over $1 Billion in funding for orphaned well remediation. Biden Administration Announces $1.15 Billion for States to Create Jobs Cleaning Up Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells | U.S. Department of the Interior
Idaho is fortunate to have an active operator who is maintaining responsibility and bonding for our oil and gas wells. As a result we did not need to request federal dollars from this bill.
Here is a summary of the bill:
• ~$500 million will be provided to 26 states that have orphaned wells.
• The 26 states requesting funds have listed ~129,000 wells in total.
• Those states that requested these funds will be monitored by the DOI for efficiencies throughout the process.
The Department of Interior stated that the number may be closer to two-million wells. When I asked about the difference between state data and the DOI estimates the representative was unable to provide an explanation beyond confirming her estimates.

Field Status
The Barlow #2-14, Fallon #1-11, and Dutch Lane #1-13 wells are drilled with production casing completed in Payette County. Testing of the wells is ongoing.
Sometimes a In Idaho, flaring is allowed during well testing for a total of 14 days. These 14 days do not have to be consecutive.

News Article(s) of Interest
Colorado stands alone as it initiates plan to make the leasing of state land for oil & gas contingent on greenhouse gas emissions in the vicinity.
https://energyoffice.colorado.gov/climate-energy/ghg-pollution-reduction-roadmap

Idaho Power files more petitions seeking access to private land
https://www.bakercityherald.com/news/local/idaho-power-files-more-petitions-seeking-access-to-private-land/article_4e6029e8-7ec8-11ec-873f-7b1376b078f3.html

Potential lithium source in Idaho geothermal
https://www.idahofallsmagazine.com/2022/01/its-in-the-water

Current Prices

Natural Gas $6.44 mmbtu. 02/02/22  (69.9% / $2.65 increase since last month)
NGL $11.70 mmbtu. 02/02/22 (15.4% / $1.56 increase since last month)
Utah Sweet Crude $78.46 bbl. 02/02/22   (19% / $12.55 increase since last month)
WTI $78.85 bbl.  02/04/22  (16.6% / $13.11 increase since last month)

(green indicates prices increase since last update, red indicates decline)

November Monthly Report

The November 2021 monthly report is now available. Please see the Monthly and Annual Reports page for more information.

EPA to accept comments on a Class II injection well application for the Willow Field

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to issue an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit authorizing Class II injection well DJS 2-14 at Willow Field in Payette County, Idaho. EPA is also proposing an Aquifer Exemption of the Willow Sands from status as an Underground Source of Drinking Water.

Beginning January 14, 2022, there will be a 45-day comment period. Please see the Notice for more information.

Persons wishing to comment must do so in writing by the close of the Public Comment period on February 28, 2022 March, 30, 2022 at 5:00 PM Mountain Time (MT) (comment period extended from February 28). Please submit all comments via email to osborne.evan@epa.gov. All comments must include:

  1. The statement “Draft Permit Public Comment” or “Draft Aquifer Exemption Public Comment” in the subject line of the email,
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting (in the body of the email) and,
  3. A concise statement and the relevant facts forming the basis for the comment.

The EPA has scheduled a public hearing on February 18, 2022, at 10:00 AM MT. The purpose of this meeting is to collect oral comments on the actions proposed by this notice. To attend the meeting, visit the EPA Region 10 UIC webpage https://www.epa.gov/uic/underground-injection-control-region-10-ak-id-or-and-wa the morning of the hearing where you will be provided direction on how to attend this remote meeting. EPA will post hearing details under the Public Notices section of this webpage.

The draft permit, fact sheet, and Aquifer Exemption record of decision can be downloaded from the internet at https://www.epa.gov/uic/underground-injection-control-region-10-ak-id-or-and-wa

Due to COVID-19, EPA cannot share any physical copies for review.

OGCC Secretary Update – January 2022

Mick Thomas

Division Administrator – Minerals, Navigable Waters, and Oil & Gas

Secretary to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

This update was sent to the Commission on Saturday, January 8, 2022.

January 2022 Secretary Update

Current Items:
Special OGCC Meetings
Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
Field Status
Injection Well Update
News Article(s) of Interest
Current Prices

Special OGCC Meetings
The Department held a special meeting for the Commission on December 16, 2021, in order for the Commission to choose to authorize one person to review substantive documents for filing with the court, and to make strategic litigation decisions on behalf of all commissioners, as the Commission, regarding CAIA v. Miller in consultation with the Commission’s attorneys of record, the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. The Commission chose Chairman Betty Coppersmith to take this role. An additional Commission meeting was held on January 5, 2022. More specific detail is provided below:

Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
In the month of December, the Department worked through comments received and created a second draft text. This draft text was presented to the Commission at the January 5, 2022 special meeting for the Commission. Public comment was not accepted at the meeting but written comments will be accepted on the second draft text from January 5- January 12, 2022. Please visit the OGCC website for more information.
Idaho Code title 47, chapter 3 – Proposed Statutory Changes | Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

The January 5, 2022 meeting lasted approximately five hours with a brief lunch. While comments were not accepted at the meeting It was open for telephonic and in person attendance.
The Commission discussed the proposed changes to Title 47, Chapter 3, Idaho code. The Commission evaluated the written and oral comments received and shared ideas on potential revisions.

Some of the main points discussed:
1. Make-up of the Commission: There was general consensus that the number of Commissioners will remain the same at five. The qualifications of the Commissioners were discussed as well. The Commission did support replacing the IDL Director with a different person to be selected by the Governor, however the qualifications of that person are still being evaluated.
2. Drilling Location and Well Spacing: Significant discussion was given to rewording Section 317 and Section 318, with the goal of simplifying the wording, providing more clarity, and being more consistent with other states.
3. The role of the Commission: The ability of the Commission to be more involved as a technical resource to the Department was discussed. Especially regarding the role of the Commission as an appellate body vs. hands-on technical expert in the hearing process.

The Department and AG’s office are working together to aggregate Commission comments and will provide an updated version of the of Title 47, Chapter 3, Idaho code soon.

Field Status
The Dutch Lane 1-13 on the eastern side of Harmon Field spudded December 18, 2021 and has reached a total depth of 4875’. Snake River Oil & Gas has designated this as a Confidential Well per Idaho Code § 47-327. Drilling operations for the season have been completed for the present, but some additional workover operations are planned for the next one to two months. Snake River will perform remedial cementing operations on the Fallon #1-10 in the next week in preparations for commencing production from the well.

Injection Well Update
Snake River Oil & Gas has reached out to the EPA Region 10 office at various times over the past several months regarding the status of their application. The most recent information indicates that they will possibly be making a proposed recommendation in the early part of 2022.

News Article(s) of Interest
Interior: US has twice as many abandoned oil and gas wells as previously thought | TheHill
Secretary Note: I have been tracking this legislation. A change in leadership at the federal level provided a massive influx of federal funding for O&G well plugging. Because of this increase many O&G producing states found additional orphaned wells, doubling the volume previously reported to the IOGCC as recently as September 2021. Idaho does not have any orphaned and abandoned O&G wells and therefore did not apply for these funds.

New York State: Natural gas bans are new front in effort to curb emissions
https://denvergazette.com/ap/science-tech/natural-gas-bans-are-new-front-in-effort-to-curb-emissions/article_706d9110-9858-5a1c-a95d-52eeeb9ee605.html

Colorado: Garfield County to continue oil and gas regulations economic impact study into new year
https://www.postindependent.com/news/garfield-county-to-continue-oil-and-gas-regulations-economic-impact-study-into-new-year/

Anti-government conspiracies create another challenge to addressing drought in the West
https://www.deseret.com/2022/1/3/22841583/anti-government-conspiracies-create-another-challenge-to-drought-in-the-west-bundy-colorado-river

Current Prices

Natural Gas $3.79 mmbtu. 01/05/22 (no change since last month)
NGL $10.14 mmbtu. 01/05/22 (9.3% / $0.94 increase since last month)
Utah Sweet Crude $65.91 bbl. 01/07/22 (7.5% / $4.27 increase since last month)
WTI $78.85 bbl. 01/07/22 (8.8% / $6.91 increase since last month)

(green indicates prices increase since last update, red indicates decline)

Idaho Code title 47, chapter 3 – Proposed Statutory Changes

The second draft text of proposed statutory changes has been posted to the Idaho Code title 47, chapter 3 – Proposed Statutory Changes webpage. This draft text #2 will be presented at the January 5, 2022 special Commission meeting. The Commission will give oral comments but will not be accepting oral public comments on the second draft text. The Department will accept written comments from January 5 – January 12, 2022.

October Monthly Report

The October 2021 monthly report is now available. Please see the Monthly and Annual Reports page for more information.

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, December 11.

December 2021 Secretary Update

Current Items:
Field Status
Dutch Lane #1-13 APD Approved
Annual Inspections
Third Quarter 2021 – Quarterly Report
Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
IOGCC meeting
News Article(s) of Interest
Current Prices

Field Status
In Harmon Field, the Fallon #1-11 well has completed drilling operations. Snake River Oil & Gas has designated this as a Confidential Well per Idaho Code § 47-327.

Dutch Lane #1-13 APD Approved
The permit for the Dutch Lane #1-13 well was approved by the Department November 17, 2021. The proposed well is located approximately one mile southeast of the Fallon #1-11 and is also in Harmon Field. The operator expects to begin moving in and rigging up to commence drilling operations the week of December 4th.

Annual Inspections
Annual inspections on all wells and facilities in Payette County were completed the week of November 28th and the final inspection reports are being compiled. The annual inspection for the Fallon #1-10 was not performed due to pending planned operations by Snake River Oil & Gas. Once those operations are completed, the Department will complete the inspection.

Third Quarter 2021 – Quarterly Report
Attached is the quarterly report for the 3rd quarter of 2021.

Proposed Legislation Idaho Code 47-3
The Department received oral comments from the November 16, OGCC meeting and five written comments on the first draft text. The Department will be reviewing those comments and working on a second draft text during this month of December.

IOGCC meeting
The Annual Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission held our annual meeting on November 7th through 9th in Santa Fe New Mexico. James Thum and I attended on behalf of Idaho.
While oil & gas prices have recovered in the past several months, this annual meeting covered a broader array of topics than in years past. The majority of states understand that the U.S. is moving toward a more diverse energy industry and are working with operators, NGO’s, federal partners, and other states to best serve the changing regulatory needs of the industry.
Below is a link to all of the presentations held during the meeting if you would like to review.
Annual Conference Presentations | Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (ok.gov)

News Article(s) of Interest
Exxon Mobil plans to go net-zero in the Permian Basin
https://energynews.us/digests/exxon-mobil-plans-to-go-net-zero-in-the-permian-basin/

Nations power grid needs expansion to meet anticipated renewable energy production
Renewable Energy Is Great—but the Grid Can Slow It Down | WIRED

Idaho moves ahead on plan to appraise federal land for taxes
https://apnews.com/article/technology-business-legislature-idaho-property-taxes-31b0872bf817f38989955776598b01e0

Current Prices

Utah Sweet Crude $61.64 bbl. 12/10/21 (11.4% / $7.87 decrease since last report)
WTI $71.94 bbl. 12/10/21 (11.6% / $9.40 decrease since last report)
Natural Gas $3.79 mmbtu. 12/08/21 (32.2% / $1.80 decrease since last report)
NGL $9.20 mmbtu.  12/08/21 (23.7% / $2.86 decrease since last report)

(green indicates prices increase since last update, red indicates decline)

September Monthly Report

The September 2021 monthly report is now available. Please see the Monthly and Annual Reports page for more information.

Application for permit to drill approved – Dutch Lane #1-13

The Department has approved the Dutch Lane #1-13 application for permit to drill. More information can be found on the Dutch Lane #1-13 well file page.