A History of Oil and Gas Exploration in Illinois
The first attempt at drilling oil in Illinois took place in Champaign in 1853. These wells produced "swamp gas" or "drift gas," but no actual crude oil. Since those first attempts, about 155,000 oil, gas, and injection wells have been drilled in Illinois.
The first productive oil wells in Illinois were drilled in Clark and Montgomery counties in the 1860s. Commercial oil production in the state started in 1905, with approximately 181,000 barrels of crude being extracted that year.
Most oil produced through the late 1930s was extracted from shallow zones, or formations that are less than 1,000 feet deep. Then in 1937, deeper zones -- formations laying at 2,500 to 3,500 feet below ground -- were discovered in Illinois.
The deepest well drilled to date in Illinois was more than 13,000 feet below ground.
Illinois Oil & Gas Statistics
- There are currently at least 32,100 oil and gas production wells, 10,500 Class II injection wells and 1,750 gas storage wells in Illinois.
- These wells are run by 1,500 oil and gas workers.
- Oil production takes place in 40 of the 102 counties in Illinois, with most of the production located in Southern Illinois.
- Illinois' oil producing region belongs to a geologic structure called the Illinois Basin, which covers Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Western Indiana.
- About 800 drilling permits for oil, gas and injection wells are issued each year in Illinois.
- The Illinois Division of Oil & Gas performs roughly 22,000 inspections annually and initiates approximately 3,500 enforcement actions each year.
- Most oil wells in Illinois are stripper wells, or wells that are nearing the end of their economically useful life, with a production of around 1.5 barrels per day.
Who is the Largest Oil Producer in Illinois?
Campbell Energy, the largest oil producer in the state of Illinois, operates principally in the Illinois Basin. The Illinois Basin is located in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Oil production began in the Illinois Basin in 1905, and since then the region has produced over 1 billion barrels of crude.
Where Does Illinois Rank in Oil Production?
Illinois currently ranks 16th out of 31 among American oil producing states in terms of annual production, with production occurring in 45 counties. Illinois ranks 4th in the nation in crude oil refining capacity behind Texas, Louisiana, and California, with a refining capacity of about 1 million barrels of crude per day.
Fatal Work Injuries in Illinois
Fatal work injuries totaled 135 in 2020 for Illinois, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Fatal occupational injuries in the state have ranged from a high of 262 in 1996 to a low of 135 in 2020. Nationwide, a total of 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2020, an 11-percent decrease from 5,333 in
In 2020, transportation accidents caused 55 fatal work injuries and accounted for roughly 41% of all fatal workplace injuries in the state. Worker deaths from transportation incidents were up from 53 over the year. Falls, slips, and trips were the 2nd most common cause of fatal workplace events with 24 deaths, down from 26 in 2019. Violence or other injuries by persons or animals resulted in 22 fatalities, down from 31 in the prior year. Contact with objects or equipment resulted in 17 work-related deaths compared to 23 in 2019.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Illinois Oil Field Accident and Injury Lawyers
The personal injury lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, have experience dealing with the rights of American oilfield workers, and we are one of the only firms willing to handle oilfield workplace accidents in Illinois and throughout the entire United States.
Again, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an oilfield accident in Illinois, you should contact our oil field accident lawyers immediately by using the form below or calling our law firm toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600 to schedule a free case review and legal options.
Clients may be able to recover fair compensation for medical expenses from an oil company in a lawsuit and a personal injury lawyer can help.