In a strange turn of events, on October 30, 2017, the Woolsey Operating Company requested and received a release of its permits for the high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing Woodrow well that was to be drilled north of Enfield; they will not be drilling. Woolsey was the first company to receive a permit in Illinois to drill a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing well, despite much public comment against it, since a new law went into effect four years ago. The withdrawal comes in spite of a very recent application to put in their own OG-03 Class II Injection Well to contain the wastewater. That application has also been withdrawn.
One can be certain that the recent application for the injection well was related to TrueFlo’s recent woes. TrueFlo Solutions was the only commercial entity approved for disposal at the time for the new Woodrow well. TrueFlo Solution, LLC is located on Hwy. 1 below Brownsville and is the first commercial Class II injection well to be established in White County. Another well was also under consideration for Woodrow’s wastewater and IDNR said they were trying to bring them up to standard. There is no word at this time of the status of that well, Rankin #1. But TrueFlo has been under violation status since late August and unable to accept any wastewater, due to an August oil and brine spill of significant size in the creek adjacent to the property. Weeks of remediation with TrueFlo, the Attorney General’s office and the IEPA have failed to bring the creek back to an acceptable condition. A hearing is now being scheduled.
The letter requesting the withdrawal of the permits from the Woolsey Operating Company to IDNR states that”Woolsey understands and agrees that if in the future it is economical to pursue the projects contemplated by either, or both, the Permits and Injection Well Permit Application, it will be required to begin the permit process in accordance with all applicable statutes and rules and regulations in effect at that time.”
The Villagers’ Voice reached out to Woolsey Operating Company for a statement as to why they closed the operation: “Woolsey Operating Company, LLC was successful in receiving a permit for the Woodrow #1H-310408-193 in White County, Illinois, the first permit approved under the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Woolsey was the most active oil and gas exploration company in Illinois in the amount of acreage leased, 3D seismic surveys acquired, test wells drilled and core analysis conducted to determine the potential of the New Albany Shale formation.
Woolsey has decided to terminate our efforts to drill the Woodrow #1H. The process we have gone through to receive a permit was burdensome, time consuming and costly due to the current rules and regulations of the State of Illinois and it appears that this process would continue for future permit applications. Also, the drilling and completion requirements under the Act are stringent which will make future development costs of the New Albany Shale excessive and the obligations for compliance on our staff demanding. We are still of the opinion that the New Albany Shale has potential and are disappointed to come to this conclusion. It is a difficult business decision, as the resources we committed were substantial. However, in consideration of the current price of oil and gas, the difficult regulatory environment in Illinois and exploration opportunities in other states, it is in our best interest to discontinue with high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations in Illinois. Woolsey has been in business for over 44 years with most of its operations located in Kansas. We are currently active in Kansas with our 2017 Drilling Program and have identified some exciting exploration projects for future years. In the near term, we will focus our efforts in Kansas to test some intriguing geological ideas in a state with a pro-business attitude and functional oil/gas regulatory climate.”
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