Oil and gas fracking in Illinois is being conducted on new drill sites on what was previously used as farmland. The primary productive reservoir is the New Albany Shale which is a large geologic formation which is known to contain large natural gas and crude oil deposits. Since it is a shale formation, the benefits of hydraulic fracking are evident in the increased hydrocarbon production. The New Albany Shale production is relied upon with fracking and as of April 2012, mineral rights in roughly 20 counties have been secured with the aid of close to $100 Million in funding.
Reserve estimates for the New Albany Shale in Illinois is in excess of 11 Trillion cubic feet making this reservoir a significant oil and gas play for the future. These reserves are dependent on fracking in Illinois to be able to bring the natural gas to market.
Additional Illinois Fracking Information
On April 5, 2012, it was reported that energy companies are moving to strike lease deals with landowners and mineral rights owners in the southeastern part of Illinois, with the first test wells in the region expected to be drilled in the next month or two. If some of the wells are successful, it is expected to lead to more leases and drilling. Energy companies in Illinois are seeking natural gas liquids like ethane, a component in making plastics and the fuel propane, which is fetching higher commodity prices than heating-quality natural gas, the price of which has plummeted as supplies have surged with fracking.
Chicago Business noted that the leases could be attractive in places like Wayne County, a mainly farming area 270 miles south of Chicago, where economic opportunities are scarce. Companies are reportedly paying more than $100 an acre for leasing deals with owners, with royalties on anything produced at up to 17.5 percent.
Legislation moving through Springfield would require drillers to disclose the chemicals used and establish standards for concrete well casings and waste-water storage. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Champaign, and backed by the group Faith in Place, is supported by the oil and gas industry after negotiations. The Senate is set to take it up in April 2012
Illinois Basin New Albany Shale