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Oil in the Illinois Basin
Transcript of Oil in the Illinois Basin
The Illinois Basin is very large. It makes up parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, and not to mention Illinois.
The first oil discovered in the Illinois basin was discovered in 1866, in Litchfield, Illinois.
From 1907 to 1912, the Illinois basin was the third most productive oil area in the United States.
Another peak in production occurred in the late 1930's and early 40's.
Yet another peak was during the 50's, and one of the final ones was during the early 1980's.
Before we get to anything else, what is oil?
That's a good question. Oil is a fossil fuel that does things from powering cars to making doors open without a sound.
What is a Fossil Fuel?
Fossil Fuels are formed from, you guessed it, fossils of prehistoric organisms. They act as a form of energy and as a lubricant.
Drilling for the stuff
Once all the equipment for building the oil rig is at the site, the rig gets set up. It's powered by large diesel engines, which in turn power electric engines.
A large pipe extends from the rig, with diamond drill bits at the end. It then sucks up oil, with mud being pumped through the pipe to lubricate it.
How is oil formed?
Millions of years ago, dead prehistoric microbes sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Then they were covered by sediments.
After that, heat and pressure built up, converting it into pure hydrocarbons, or what we call crude oil.
When oil is burned, it gives off tons of fumes, which can cause tons of disastrous things.
Drilling for it can cause deforestation, and pollution of ground water, which we use as drinking water!
The New Albany Shale, which is where most of the oil in the Illinois Basin comes from, could be very beneficial to gas prices. But, it could cause deforestation and sometimes small land spills.
So, to wrap up:
People have been drilling in the Illinois basin for hundreds of years, and there are thousands of drills.
Drilling there has been met with mostly good reactions.
And, New Albany Shale will continue to be drilled as long as it exists. It's one of the most plentiful resources in America.