About Oil And Gas In Illinois

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Oil & Gas Facts

Current Statistics

  • There are approximately 32,100 oil and gas production wells, 10,500 Class II injection wells and 1,750 gas storage wells in Illinois.

  • These wells are controlled by 1,500 operators.

  • There is oil production in 40 of the 102 counties in Illinois. Most of the production is located in the southern part of Illinois.

  • The oil producing area of Illinois is part of a geologic structure or province known as the Illinois Basin. The Illinois Basin covers southern Illinois, western Kentucky and western Indiana.

  • Approximately 800 drilling permits for oil, gas and injection wells are issued each year.

  • The Division of Oil & Gas conducts approximately 22,000 inspections per year and initiates approximately 3,500 enforcement actions each year.

  • The majority of wells in Illinois are stripper wells with a daily production of 1.5 barrels per day.

Historical Information

  • The first attempt at drilling oil wells occurred near Champaign, Illinois in 1853. These wells produced "swamp gas" or "drift gas" from glacial till, but no oil.

  • Since 1853, approximately 155,000 oil, gas, and injection wells have been drilled in Illinois.

  • The first oil wells were drilled in Clark and Montgomery counties in the early 1860s.

  • Commercial oil production began in Illinois in 1905. 181,000 barrels of oil were produced in 1905.

  • Most oil produced in Illinois from 1894 through 1937 was produced from shallow zones (formations less than 1,000 feet). In 1937 deeper zones were discovered (formations from 2,500 to 3,500 feet).

  • The deepest well ever drilled in Illinois was over 13,000 feet deep.

  • The State of Illinois has had a program regulating the oil and gas industry since 1939.