The amount of severance taxes generated by Idaho's oil and gas industry is getting close to paying what it costs the state to regulate the industry.
Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz estimates that 2017 severance taxes will come close to the break-even point as natural gas production has been increasing.
State geologist Ed Ratchford says future gas and oil production potential looks promising.
Current production is in southwest Idaho where Texas-based Alta Mesa has eight producing wells in a basin Ratchford says could extend into Oregon.
He also says south-central Idaho has potential based on similar geology with a producing area across the border in Nevada.
Another company has well permits in southeastern Idaho where Ratchford says the geology appears to favor hydraulic fracturing.