Drilling Company to Build Headquarters in Wayne County

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By Matthew Searcy

FAIRFIELD -- A new drilling company is setting up shop in Southern Illinois. Woolsey Operating Company plans to build its headquarters in Fairfield.     

For the past few years the group has been securing the rights to drill on thousands of acres across the region.  
 
"What we see is a big opportunity in the area," explained owner Isaac Woolsey. "We are making this decision based upon the success that we have had in Kansas which is a very similar area for working."
 
Woolsey has leased land in about a half dozen Southern Illinois counties and plans to drill as many as 15 wells across the region, 6 are already up and running.
 
Local leaders welcome the development.
 
"We live in an area that has been economically deprived and we are always looking for new industry," explained Fairfield Mayor Chuck Griswold. 
 
The company headquarters will create 20 new jobs.    
 
"It's a natural resource so we are taking advantage of what we have here to develop our economy and provide jobs for locals," said Griswold.  
 
Woolsey has a history of hydraulic fracturing in Kansas and would like to bring fracking to Southern Illinois, but must wait on the state for permits.   
 
"If they say they are really for jobs, then issuing these permits and letting these companies go to work to create those jobs, that's what that means," said State Senator Dale Righter. "We need to get Governor Quinn and his department of natural resources to issue the permits that are necessary, in order to allow fracking to go forward." 
 
"When we finish here I anticipate we will have the development to drill both vertically and horizontally," said Woolsey.  
 
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