The new owners of the wells that put Idaho in the natural gas business revealed themselves this week and promised to drill more wells and invest more money to find more gas.
Snake River Oil and Gas has partnered with AM Idaho LLC, a Texas based exploration & production company, to purchase the assets of Bridge Resources and its former partner Paramax Energy. Bridge, now Idaho Natural Resources Inc. retains some interests in the original seven wells in Payette County that showed the state can produce natural gas commercially.
AM Idaho, a subsidiary of Alta Mesa Holdings, of Houston, will operate the wells.
"This is exciting news for Idaho," Snake River President Richard Brown said. "This acquisition of the productive wells and the thousands of associated leased acres means we can expand our oil and gas exploration program, drill more wells and bring major investments to the region and the state."
Bridge Energy paid all of its bills as a part of larger deal.
The acquisition allows Snake River and its partner AM Idaho to responsibly build the required infrastructure to bring gas to market, they said in a press release. They also will start an ambitious seismic exploration program to analyze the area's geology with the goal of further developing potential additional deposits of natural gas and condensate.
“These newer techniques can get a wealth information that would otherwise require drilling hundreds of holes,” said Virginia Gillerman, a geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey. “And in some cases you couldn’t even get it that way.”
Bridge and Paramax had found gas and condensate, a liquid mix of hydrocarbons, in seven wells it drilled in 2010. But Bridge ran into financial problems when it did not get enough in the sale of much of its North Sea properties to pay off its debt to a consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland.
That stopped its development cold as Snake River, a subsidiary for Weiser-Brown, an Arkansas oil and gas company was leasing tens of thousands of acres across southwest Idaho.