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Idaho regulators agree to settlement with Texas oil company

November 29, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Texas oil company has agreed to pay $4,000 for not complying with Idaho rules, state oil and gas regulators said.

The state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved the settlement this week with Houston-based Alta Mesa, the Idaho Statesman reported .

The company holds hundreds of oil and gas leases on private and state land in Payette County.

The state sent Alta Mesa a violation notice last month after it failed to obtain state approval before performing work on a well and for not submitting a required report on time.

“This is the first time we’ve had a notice of violation in the department,” said Mick Thomas, the oil and gas division administrator for the state Department of Lands. “Operationally there weren’t errors. What they did was not wrong. They just didn’t tell us what they were going to do.”

Thomas gave commissioners an update this week on the state’s actions against the company.

The Idaho Attorney General’s Office issued a notice of default to Alta Mesa late last month after it did not respond to demands in a September letter that it pay delinquent royalties and hand over documents. The state “may terminate the leases and begin eviction proceedings” if the company does not meet the demands before Jan. 24, according to the notice.

The state had subpoenaed the company last month for oil production reports, analyses and other documents as required under state law.

Alta Mesa turned over a “voluminous amount of data,” but “it did not entirely fulfill everything” required in the subpoena, Thomas told commissioners.

“Once the department completes its investigations, we will report its findings to the commission,” Thomas said. “Our hope is to have a summary of the investigation done before year’s end.”

Alta Mesa did immediately respond to a request for comment from the Idaho Statesman.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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