Howard Energy Corporation has concluded that the future of the Illinois Basin lies in its deep potential. Consequently, an investigation has been conducted into the feasibility of exploring this huge untapped resource. It has long been a common belief in the industry that these deeper reserves exist, however the methods and procedures used in the past have been unsuccessful.
Consideration was given as to what technological advances currently exist that would increase the probability of a successful test. It was determined that the first step would be to run an aeromagnetic survey over a large area (250 square miles) of the basin to identify prospective areas with significant basement structure. These areas would then be subjected to seismic and soil gas analysis.
It is believed that an overlap of these three investigative tools will provide the best possible prospect. Howard Energy Corp. has recently completed this procedure and has identified an area in Perry County, Illinois which is geographically located approximately 9 miles west and north of Pinckneyville, Illinois. An acreage block of about 1900 acres has been assembled for the purpose of drilling a wildcat well. The text of the above reports will outline the logic for this exciting venture.
Illinois Basin Geological
The Illinois Basin, which covers approximately 53,000 square miles, is a broad elliptical basin covering most of Illinois, southwestern Indiana, and western Kentucky. Its main axis trends from the northwest to the southeast. It is basically bland structurally with the exception of the LaSalle Anticline which trends to the southeast across a major portion of the basin and some fault systems, which are primarily located in the southeastern part of Illinois.
The Illinois Basin
is located in the central lowland province, which also included north
central Texas, central Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, and Michigan. The
sub surface geology and paleo-environment of the province appear to
be correlative throughout with commercial production in the deeper
intervals in other parts of the province that are not currently being
produced in the Illinois Basin.
The initial production from the Illinois Basin came from the Trenton field, which was discovered in 1884 in central Indiana. It contained approximately one billion barrels of oil and produced a total of 105 million barrels of oil under primary means with the peak period between 1900 and 1904. The field also produced approximately one trillion cubic feet of gas. Further development in the early 1900's took place in the Main consolidated and Lawrence field in Illinois and the Oakland City and Princeton fields in Indiana. Most of this production was in the range of 1000 feet.
next boom took place in 1938 when seismic information was utilized
in the discovery of Dale, Salem, Clay City and Loudon fields. In 1940,
Illinois was the 4th largest producing state in the nation. Production
in the basin steadily declined until the mid 1950's when waterflooding
was initiated along with the discovery of the hydraulic fracturing.
Exploration since that time has been primarily in the limestone intervals
below the St. Genevieve and through the Warsaw. As of this date the
Illinois Basin has produced approximately 4.2 billion barrels of reserves.
To date the number of penetrations in the deeper horizons has been very limited in the Illinois Basin (less than 25 that penetrated the pre cambrian strata). Almost all of the deep wells were drilled in the heart of a large shallow structure that produced significant volumes of reserves. It is conceivable that this method would be inappropriate to discover economic reserves in the lower strata. Geologically it is evident that the zones in question are correlative to those, which produced in other basins in the United States.
The fact that source beds are available is proven with the free oil
found in Union Oil Company's Cisne # 1 located in northern Wayne County,
which is almost the center of the basin. This well recovered ten feet
of free oil from a drill stem test of the Shakopee dolomite at a depth
of approximately 7800 feet. Having fulfilled the requirements of an
oil source, consideration has to be given as to the trapping mechanism
available. The areomagnetic and seismic surveys have identified this
prospect to have sufficient structural qualities to warrant the proposed
Limestone (Upper Ordovician 3500' - 3600')
Peter Sandstone (Middle Ordovician 4400' - 4600')
Dolomite Megagroup (Lower Ordovician - Upper Cambridge 4600' -
Claire Formation (Middle Cambrian 6100' - 6700')
Simon Sandstone (Lower Cambrian 6800' - 6950')
Although previous attempts to explore for deep oil and gas in the Illinois Basin have failed, no known attempt was made utilizing these specific technology's to identify a prospect. A review of the services available resulted in a plan to integrate three separate prospecting tools, which were aeromagnetic surveys, seismic surveys, and soil gas analysis. It was concluded that the project would be initiated by running an aeromagnetic survey over a large section of the basin.
After identifying a prospective area, seismic and soil gas analysis
would then be run to confirm the prospect. It is felt that a positive
test from these three procedures will result in the most favorable
prospect available. The results of the surveys conducted on this project
are provided for your review in the appendix of this report.
For the past 100 years the major oil companies have produced the bulk of the reserves in the Illinois Basin. They have now all gone in search of the more lucrative areas in foreign lands, many using the same tools that were used for this test. During their tenure they expended a very small portion of their resources in exploring the lower two thirds of the sediment in the basin. It is believed that this indifference has now provided the independent operators with one of their greatest potentials.
While it is apparent that the major oil companies endeavors in deep exploration was unsuccessful the possibility of reserves being available is still good. Should the approach with these technology's prove itself, there would be an enormous opportunity for those in the initial venture to expand its use. It is therefore recommended that the subject test be commenced at the earliest possible date.
Howard Energy Corp.
519 West 3rd St
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863