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Oil and gas drilling operation in the Willow Field, Payette County, Idaho. BLM photo.

BLM Idaho Oil and Gas

Until 2008, no commercially viable oil or gas resources had been found in Idaho, despite the drilling of around 150 wells throughout the state. In 2008, a natural gas field named Willow Field was discovered in southwest Idaho near Payette and then in 2015, commercial production began from six wells on private lands. The resource is a relatively small, conventional deposit. The reservoir includes porous sand, is accessed via vertical and directional drilling, and does not require hydraulic fracturing (also referred to as fracking). The field was discovered largely due to recent advances in 3D seismic technology. Several wildcat wells are anticipated to be drilled on Federal leases in late 2016-17 in southeast Idaho, north of Gray’s Lake.