Idaho OK's first natural gas drilling

The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved temporary rules for hydraulic fracturing that allow Bridge Resources to become the first natural gas driller in the state.

The commission decided not to put a permanent ban on horizontal fracking, where fluids are pumped into shale formations at high pressure to allow natural gas to permeate through for recovery. Concerns have been raised around the country that this drilling method could contaminate drinking water. Idaho officials plan to hold meetings this summer to develop a permanent fracking rule.

Bridge Resources, the Canadian-based exploratory company that has discovered natural gas in Payette County, said it only will use a “mini-fracking” procedure to stimulate flows of some of its wells. Bridge would inject only vertically, at high pressure, a mixture of gel and sand into the sandstone formation where the company has found gas to clean out the reservoir near the well bore. This process props open fractures and entices gas to flow more freely.

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