Idaho gives oil company second shot to exclude BLM

A Texas company is getting another chance to persuade Idaho officials to exclude federal lands and potential royalties from what is believed to be a profitable natural gas field in the southwest part of the state.

The five-member Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted 4-1 Friday to hold another hearing to gather additional evidence from Alta Mesa.

The company wants to omit 187 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management land from a 615-acre drilling unit.

The commissioners in September rejected Alta Mesa’s request but the company appealed.

The company says the federal agency for years hasn’t made the land in Payette County available for lease, halting progress.

BLM officials say it takes time to meet environmental analysis laws.

A date for the new hearing hasn’t been set.