Driller of 1st Illinois Shale Well Says No Thanks, Too Many Regs

In June, MDN brought you the news that the very first application to drill a shale well in Illinois had been made (see Application Filed to Drill/Frack 1st Shale Well in Illinois). Woolsey Operating Co., headquartered in Kansas, filed a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) application with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) to drill a well in the New Albany Shale layer in the state. On August 31st the IDNR issued the permit. Why is fracking in Illinois of interest for MDN readers? A significant portion of our natural gas shale production is already flowing to the Midwest via the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline, Rover Pipeline, and when it gets built, the NEXUS Pipeline. While a single shale well in Illinois is no competitive threat to our region, if the well proves a commercial success and more wells follow, we may get some competition. Hence our interest in this story. However, it looks like there’s no reason to be worried. When IDNR issued their permit for the well, they larded it up with so many regulations and conditions, Woolsey has said (our words), “No thanks, you can keep it.” Last week Woolsey sent a letter to IDNR asking to be “immediately released” and for the permit to be withdrawn…

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