Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates the exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas resources on private, state, and federal land. The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is the administrative arm of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The Commission is based out of the IDL Director's Office in Boise.
Wellhead activities are monitored to ensure that environmental damage does not occur during drilling and operation states. The efficient recovery of oil and gas, protection of correlative rights, and protection of fresh water supplies are the duties of the Commission as described in Idaho law. Drill permits are issued by the Director after a review by the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Other activities associated with oil and gas development include spacing orders, directional drilling, secondary recovery, and unit operations. These other activities may require a public hearing as part of the review process.
Other issues pertaining to oil and gas development fall within the jurisdiction of other agencies or levels of government. View a summary of agency jurisdictions here.
New Commission Named
In July 2013 Governor Otter appointed new members to the reconstructed Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Earlier this year, the Legislature approved and the Governor signed a bill replacing the existing commissioners – the same five constitutional officers who serve on State Board of Land Commissioners – with five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Idaho Senate. The commission members are experts in oil and gas, geology and water, as well as two landowner representatives – one who owns mineral rights and one who owns land without mineral rights.
The appointed commission members are:
James Classen of Boise, representing geological interests, to a four-year term – Mr. Classen has more than 50 years of professional experience as a petroleum exploration geologist, geological engineer, and manager. He is a member of several professional geological associations. He served in the Army Reserves and earned an engineer of geology degree from Colorado School of Mines and a master’s degree in geology from Stanford.
Ken Smith of Boise, representing oil and gas interests, to a four-year term – Mr. Smith is a retired certified public accountant who was chief financial officer for oil and gas companies in Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho, and was executive vice president, chief operations officer, and chief technical officer for Petroglyph Energy in Idaho. He has several active memberships in industry associations.
Margaret (Marg) Chipman of Weiser, representing landowners with mineral rights, to a three-year term – Mrs. Chipman owns a cattle feeding and ranching business in western Idaho’s Washington County. She is a 20-year member of her local school board and has been actively involved in her community for decades. In the past two years she has helped facilitate town hall meetings in Weiser with oil and gas industry representatives and State officials. Mrs. Chipman has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Idaho and is a certified pharmacy technician.
Chris Beck of Hayden Lake, representing water interests, to a two-year term – Mr. Beck is the mayor of Hayden Lake and has been involved extensively in public service since the mid-1990s. He is a registered professional engineer in Idaho and Washington with more than 30 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geological engineering from the University of Idaho and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Sid Cellan of Soda Springs, representing landowners without mineral rights, to a one-year term – Mr. Cellan is owner and operator of Cellan Farms in Soda Springs and has worked for the Caribou County Road and Bridge Department and the City of Soda Springs. He is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, a member of the Lure Crop Advisory Board for Caribou County, and a member of the Idaho Fish and Game Winter Feeding Advisory Board for the 5th District.
Past Oil and Gas Exploration Wells in Idaho
Information on past oil and gas exploration wells in Idaho has been transferred to the Idaho Geological Survey in Moscow, Idaho and can be accessed by visiting the Idaho Geological Survey web site.
For information about historic exploration wells, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.