Soybean field, cornfield or oil field? Looks like it's all three! An operating oil pump taps black gold from layers of porous rock probably a half-mile below this field yesterday south of St. Jacob, Ill. Several more oil-pump jacks were rockin' up and down on this farmland and the few surrounding farms. Illinois has some 650 oil fields, mostly in our southern half of the state, according to the Illinois State Geological Survey, but fewer that half of the oil wells drilled here hit enough oil to pay for the cost of drilling. Oh, well – there's still the soybeans and corn!
T.E. Griggs is a writer, editor and photographer and a retired U.S. Marine.