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Energy and Environment

Oil and gas production set to increase in southern Illinois

An oil rig drilling in the ground.
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Some companies have applied for permits to drill new wells in the region.

The oil and gas industry in southern Illinois will be increasing production in response to global demand and the ban on Russian oil imports.

Illinois Petroleum Resources Board Executive Director Seth Whitehead, said there will be an expansion of existing operations.

"There will probably be new drilling, quite a lot of new drilling, I'm seeing there's quite a few permits that have been approved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which is the agency that regulates the industry here," he said.

He said companies will also work to increase production from existing wells to meet the demand for oil. That will also help address pandemic-related job losses, as Whitehead said he expects to see more jobs in the industry as production increases.

Whitehead said that while an increase in production will help over time, there won't be an immediate impact on oil prices, which are determined by the global market, not domestic supply.

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