More Than 150 Attend 2nd Annual Illinois Basin Celebration

More than 150 Illinois Basin oil exploration and production industry professionals attended the second annual Illinois Basin Celebration at the 404 Seed Station in Carmi on Friday, Oct. 13.

The event was organized by the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board (IPRB) to recognize the efforts of the more than 4,000 Illinois Basin oil exploration and production industry professionals and featured a complimentary lunch and presentation by guest speaker Warren Martin of Kansas Strong.

Martin’s presentation focused on essential need for petroleum now and in the future, and the importance of industry advocacy by those who work in the oil and gas industry.

Kansas Strong executive director Warren Martin makes his presentation at the 2nd Annual Illinois Basin Celebration.

Complimentary “Illinois Basin Proud” hats, T-shirts, flags and bumper stickers were also handed out to attendees.

The event also included an IPRB Petro Pros presentation to a group Carmi-White County agriculture students by industry volunteers Mike Payne of Shawnee Oil Company, Ross Basnett of Campbell Energy, Travis Thompson of Travis Thompson Oil Corp. and IPRB executive director Seth Whitehead. Campbell Energy and Travis Thompson Oil Corp. also displayed various oilfield equipment for the Petro Pros volunteers to show the students.

Travis Thompson and Eli Fears of Travis Thompson Oil Corp. conduct a tank truck demonstration.

Travis Thompson of Travis Thompson Oil Corp. explains how a pumping unit works.

Carmi-White County agriculture students look on as Campbell Energy employees rig up a spudder.

The Petro Pros presenters also shared information with the Carmi-White County High School attendees about career opportunities in the Illinois Basin. There is currently high demand for almost all of the 75-plus oil exploration and production industry careers, with particularly high demand for truck drivers, electricians, plumbers, welders, roustabouts and various rig and well servicing crew members.

Most of the 150-plus attendees were able to stick around after lunch to pose for the above group photo.

Between 10-12 million barrels of oil is produced annually in the Illinois Basin, which includes southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky.

Illinois oil production alone makes a $3 billion annual economic impact, generating $770 million in yearly personal and business income and $700 million in state and federal tax revenue. More than 30,000 Illinoisans receive royalty income from Illinois oil production, and active Illinois oil leases have generated an average of $7.24 million in local property tax revenue per year since 2007. More than half of that revenue has gone to fund schools near production.

The third annual Illinois Basin Celebration will be held next year in Carmi at a yet-to-be-determined date.