Drilling in the three states may have increased 20 percent in the past few years, Chris Mitchell, president of Illinois-based George N. Mitchell Drilling Co., told the newspaper.
The increase in drilling also could be driving business to other industries, like trucking and heavy equipment, said Vic Gallagher of Gallagher Drilling Inc. in Evansville.
But any increase in drilling could be hampered by a lack of geologists, field workers and other specialists, the oil experts said. Employees today are more interested in working with computers than committing to the physical labor required by many oil field jobs.
The price of oil yesterday briefly passed a record $100 a barrel. In the late 1990s, oil was $8 a barrel.