Sunset Oil and Gas Partners, LLC
Southern Illinois is the state's “hydrocarbon kitchen”

Published sept. 2,2012 Decatur, Il. Herald & Review

Illinois ' oil is produced in the state's far Southeastern counties, the so-called “hydrocarbon kitchen,” where New Albany Shale converts organic matter into oil. Most oil migrates upward through cracks and fissures, traveling through layers of sand stone, limestone or dolomite. Oil will travel sideways if its path toward the Earth's surface is blocked. That migration means oil fields also exist in most of West-central, Central and South-central Illinois.

The oil, and gas and water drain into wells drilled into those fields. Some of the biggest oil fields in Illinois have more than 2,000 oil wells and more than 200 million barrels of oil (8.4 billion gallons). The majority of Illinois wells produced 1.5 barrels a day.

The first attempt at drilling oil wells was near Champaign in 1853, but it produced only “swamp” or “drift” gas from glacial till.

Illinois was one of the nation's leading producers of oil during the 1940s and 1950s, with peak production between 1955 and 1963. By 1998, there were 30,000 active wells in the state. There are 650 oil fields in Illinois, primarily in the southern half of the state.

Fewer than half of the holes drilled strike enough oil to repay costs.

The deepest well ever drilled in Illinois was more than 13,000 feet deep.

The state has 32,100 oil and and gas production wells, 10,500 Class II injection storage wells, all controlled by 1,500 operators.

SOURCE: Illinois State Geological Survey