Indiana and fracking

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Between 2005 and 2010, as many as 23 percent of the new oil and gas wells drilled in Indiana used hydraulic fracturing.[1]

In 2015 the state had 77,000 active, and inactive, wells.[2]

The Associated Press reported in 2015 approximately a quarter of Indiana's oil and gas wells have used hydraulic fracturing.[3]


See this map of existing horizontal wells in the state, and here for a map of completed horizontal wells.

In 2014 Indiana produced 250,700 barrels (10.5 million gallons) of crude oil.[4]


Hydraulic fracturing was first introduced in the Illinois Basin in the early to mid-1950's to increase production from oil wells in Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky. According to the state's Division of Oil and Gas, the practice has been widely used here ever since.[5]

The Devonian-Mississippian New Albany Shale contains gas in the southeast Illinois Basin, encompassing Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The New Albany has been a site of gas production for more than 100 years, but activity increased in the early 2000s with hydraulic fracturing. Wells are 250 to 2000 feet deep. The gas is described as having a mixed biogenic and thermogenic origin.

The Associated Press reported that area of Gibson County where there is an increase in oil hydraulic fracturing is home to the Wabash Valley Fault System. This fault system may be associated with Missouri's New Madrid fault zone responsible for the large earthquakes in 1811 and 1812.[6]

Water Issues

Between 2011 and 2014, hydraulic fracturing several vertical oil wells in southwestern Gibson County used 250,000, or more, gallons of water and chemicals.[7]

Citizen activism

In June 2013 the Terre Haute City Council voted to ban “fracking” within the city limits until further notice. The council said the vote would ensure that “fracking” is not used in any operations within the city until updates can be made to city law on oil and gas drilling.[8]

Legislative issues and regulations

List of regulations in the state.

New rules that temporarily add noncode provisions to govern hydraulic fracturing became effective on July 1, 2012, requiring companies to report the materials and the volume of chemicals used in the fracturing fluid. Companies, however, may withhold information they deem confidential without justification or oversight. The rules require partial pre-fracturing disclosure or notice of all the chemicals that may be used.[9]

Citizen groups

Industry groups




  1. Amanda Solliday, "Indiana DNR Mandates Companies To Report Fracking Chemicals," Indiana Public Media, September 14, 2012.
  2. Lauren Slavin, "Drilling down on fracking in Indiana," Herald-Times, March 13, 2015.
  3. Rick Callahan, "Indiana studying whether hydraulic fracking by oil and gas operations can cause earthquakes," Associated Press, September 28, 2015.
  4. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Petroleum & Other Liquids,", Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  5. "Facts About Hydraulic Fracturing in Indiana," Indiana DNR, accessed Apr 2013.
  6. Rick Callahan, "Indiana studying whether hydraulic fracking by oil and gas operations can cause earthquakes," Associated Press, September 28, 2015.
  7. Rick Callahan, "Indiana studying whether hydraulic fracking by oil and gas operations can cause earthquakes," Associated Press, September 28, 2015.
  8. Arthur Foulkes, "Council bans 'fracking' in city," The Tribune Star, June 14, 2013.
  9. "New NRDC analysis: State fracking disclosure laws fall painfully short," NRDC, July 26, 2012.

Related SourceWatch articles

Click on the map below for state-by-state information on fracking:

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