Hydraulic fracturing in Illinois off to a slow start

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois officials say no companies have submitted applications for state hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, permits, even though rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling were put into place two months ago.

Only one company, Denver-based Strata-X Energy, has registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  However, the company has not submitted a formal application to begin fracking.  

According to Strata-X's chief financial officer David Hettich, the company is trying to figure out how to best manage the state's complicated fracking rules.  Strata-X Energy holds oil and gas exploration rights to 67,000 acres in southern Illinois.

Illinois Oil and Gas Association's Executive Vice President Brad Richards says the slow response could be caused by Illinois' delay in adopting regulatory rules.  Richards also says energy companies may be discouraged by low oil prices, as well.

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