White County is still the king of oil production. That’s according to the latest report from the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board detailing 2022 oil production by county in the state. More than 7.2 million barrels of crude oil were produced based on first purchaser reports throughout the state. Of those, more than 28%, 2,038,796 barrels came from White County alone. That’s more than the next 3 counties (Marion, Crawford, Fayette) combined. All that and White County’s production was down by 127,000 barrels versus 2021. The state’s total 2022 production was down 2.3% from 2021 according to the IPRB as continued labor shortages and weather – related challenges trumped high oil prices and increased drilling activity. Several counties did see increases in production compared to 2021 however including neighboring Hamilton County. Hamilton produced nearly a quarter of a million barrels in 2022 (234,104), a 51,077 barrel increase in production over the previous year. White County’s production was it’s fourth straight year of 2 million plus barrels produced.
EmmFebruary 4, 2023 at 5:19 am
What does the local economy recieve from this status? I see dying towns everywhere. I am reminded of counties in Indiana that are all but ghost towns now AFTER the boom, but the boom is still here, so why is this place dying?
Surely if there is increased revenue from this status it could be invested in community programs. There is opportunity, unless the apathy is so strong, no one in a position to make positive changes feels it’s possible.
It only takes one person to care, to make positive changes, for the future of the county, it’s communities and most importantly the youth, which is everyone’s future.
EricFebruary 5, 2023 at 4:28 pm
It’s happening right here in white county. White county has received millions of dollars in revenue and donations from the oil and gas industry and local producers. It just doesn’t make the front page mostly because the ones who are donating and spending big money to better the community aren’t doing it for any recognition. It is happening though from locally-owned businesses to many local charities and mentoring programs . With little investigation you will be able to see the names and companies who give so much.
Seth WhiteheadFebruary 13, 2023 at 11:09 am
Here are a few examples of what local oil producers contribute to the community:
Illinois Oil Producers Doing Good Work In Their Communities
OCTOBER 31, 2022|
If you are a “downstate” Illinoisan, you have probably seen a pump jack or two nodding up and down somewhere near where you live and are aware there is significant oil production in the state. But a lot of Southern Illinoisans may not know that almost all the folks that drill and pump those oil wells that dot the countryside live in the same communities where they produce. The complete opposite of “Big Oil,” most Illinois oil producers are your neighbors and fellow small business owners. And a vast majority of those local oil producers are also doing good things in their respective Southern Illinois communities. Here are just a few examples.
Carmi-based Campbell Energy – the largest oil producer in the Land of Lincoln – recently received the Carmi Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Year” award in recognition of its service to the White County community.
Jake Campbell and John Campbell of Campbell Energy receive the Carmi Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Year” award.
As former Carmi Chamber president Amber Knight said prior to presenting Campbell Energy with the honor, “This company generously gives to many, many causes in White County. Their name can be seen on the backs of our kid’s uniforms, on banners for events and festivals and helping to keep some of our youth programs alive by donating money and equipment with no recognition at all. The impact that their existence has on our county can be seen in our economy, in our workforce and in our youth.”
Most notably, Campbell Energy recently provided funds and manpower to renovate an abandoned Carmi building into a community youth center.
Just up the road in Fairfield, Podolsky Oil Company has been giving back to the Wayne County community for years through the Bernard and Naomi L. Podolsky Charitable Trust. The trust has made it possible for more than 900 Wayne County high school seniors to visit Washington D.C. over the past decade, covering roughly 60 percent of the annual trip’s expenses. This has allowed many kids who would otherwise not be able to afford such a trip to visit historical sites such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, just to name a few.
Late Podolsky Oil founder Bernard Podolsky and son and current company president Michael have also been recognized for their various conservation endeavors, most notably earning former Gov. Jim Edgar’s “Illinois Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year” award in 1991.
Just a little more up the road, Marion County-based Deep Rock Energy has contributed generously to the Kinmundy community in numerous ways, most visibly by largely funding and providing labor and expertise to construct a first-class youth softball facility and playground in the community.
Built on an eight-acre plot near South Central Elementary School, Webster Family Park features two softball fields and a playground. Prior to its construction, there was no softball field in Kinmundy and the community’s school and traveling teams were relegated to taking grounders in the Kinmundy United Methodist Church parking lot. Now, Kinmundy hosts several traveling team softball tournaments a year and its first-class facility has helped the South Central high school program emerge as a regional champion.
“I can’t say enough about what the Webster family has done and we wouldn’t have close to what we have without them,” Kinmundy Area Sports and Youth Opportunities Corporation board member Shawn Garrett said.
Collectively, all but one of Illinois’ 1,500-plus oil producers voluntarily contributes to the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board’s (IPRB) abandoned tank battery reclamation program. These voluntary industry funds have allowed IPRB to clean up more than 500 abandoned tank battery sites throughout state at no cost to landowners or taxpayers, improving the landscape while safeguarding the environment.
To be clear, an overwhelming majority of Illinois oil producers are responsible and properly remove oilfield infrastructure once their leases are no longer commercially productive. But there are some instances in which sites are abandoned for various reasons, most often because the responsible party has passed away. In response, the industry has collectively and proactively stepped up by contributing to this IPRB program that addresses these sites.
Illinois oil producers also contribute to their local communities via annual property taxes on oil reserves known as the ad valorem tax. Those taxes have generated an average of $7.4 million in local tax revenue per year since 2007. This revenue stays in producing counties, going to fund local municipalities and public services. Most notably, more than half of that revenue goes to fund public schools that are located near production sites.
So next time you see a pump jack or tank battery as you’re driving around Little Egypt, keep in mind that it is not only likely those oil production facilities are owned and operated by fellow Southern Illinoisans, but that those local oil operators are contributing to your local community in ways most are not aware of. Because they live, work and play on the same land as they produce on, a vast majority of Illinois oil producers proudly give back to their communities in a myriad of ways.