Woolsey Energy Pulls Out of Fracking in Illinois - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Woolsey Energy Pulls Out of Fracking in Illinois

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WSIL -- The first permit issued for high volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Illinois under a state law passed in 2013 has been terminated. Woolsey Operating Company, LLC was awarded the permit in late August to drill a well near Enfield, Illinois.

Touted as a potential boost to the local economy by some, fracking is a controversial drilling technique opposed by many environmentalists groups.

"I'm really happy that what we actually did actually came about and caused something positive," said Karen Fiorino, a member of Southern Illinoisians Against Fracturing Our Environment (S.A.F.E.).

In a statement, Woolsey cites the state's permit process as "burdensome, time consuming, and costly", something that would likely continue for future permit applications.

The company calls the state's law "stringent which will make future development costs of the New Albany Shale excessive and the obligations for compliance on our staff demanding."

Woolsley also blames recent low costs of oil and gas.

S.A.F.E. calls the action a win for southern Illinois.

"There's studies. Lots and lots of studies. That have shown the correlation between the use of injection wells and fracturing and the incidents of earthquakes," explained Fiorino.

Woolsey Energy says it still sees potential in the New Albany Shale, but plans to focus efforts in Kansas. Woolsey says its "a state with a pro-business attitude and functional oil/gas regulatory climate."

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources had no comment on the move, other than to confirm it had terminated the permit. The department says no other companies have applied for fracking permits in the state.

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