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Terre Haute Nuns Approve Seismic Testing For Oil

A group of nuns in Terre Haute have approved an oil company to conduct seismic testing of the congregation’s property.

CountryMark found oil about a year ago on a nearby public road through a process called thumping. The company thinks there may also be oil under the property owned by the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods, and the Board of Directors agreed this week to allow the testing.

Denise Wilkinson, mother superior of the sisters, says the sisters spent so much time deliberating because they strive for eco-justice.

She says CountryMark CEO Charlie Smith has assured the sisters the oil will be extracted in the greenest way possible.

“We need our finances to care for our elder members, to keep our ministries and our missions going, and we also had the set of values around eco-justice,” she says. “So, the leadership team, five Sisters of Providence, we really prayed, we learned, we analyzed the situation and then made the decision to do it.”

Smith says the seismic testing on the property will begin this month. If oil is found, drilling could begin in the next year.

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