--> Highlights of Recent Exploration in Illinois

2019 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting:
Energy from the Heartland

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Highlights of Recent Exploration in Illinois


The mature Illinois Basin has been through many exploration cycles, with its share of successes and failures in its long life, but since the major oil companies departed, it remains mainly an independent producer’s playground. The past ten years or so have seen land lease prices rise as larger, well-financed out-of-state companies sought to chase shale plays and high-volume hydraulic fracture targets in Middle Mississippian carbonates. State regulations on horizontal high-volume hydraulic fracture operations throttled back shale exploration in Illinois and shifted the exploration focus to primarily vertical multi-zone targets in the Middle and Lower Mississippian zones. Despite the trend of high-tech, high-cost cost targets pursued by larger, well-financed companies, the smaller independents renewed their focus on traditional shallow stratigraphic traps, mostly in upper Mississippian and Pennsylvanian zones. This presentation reviews some recent exploration examples in the Illinois Basin and considers some production outcomes in Illinois.