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News Releases

January 2, 1998

Kansas is in the middle among states in its overall energy consumption, despite the fact that the average Kansan uses more energy than his or her fellow American.

At least that was true in 1994, the most recent year for which there are complete state statistics, says Lynn Watney, executive director of the University of Kansas Energy Research Center.

Among all 50 states, Kansas ranked 26th that year consumption. Texas used the most energy and Vermont the least.

In 1994, the state was 13th in per-capita energy consumption, Watney said, with its citizens slightly little less fuelish than in 1993, when they ranked 10th in per-capita consumption.

In 1994, Watney said, Kansas production and consumption of energy were about equal, at 1,000 trillion BTUs. A BTU is the quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Kansas was a bigger consumer of natural gas in '94 than most other states, Watney said. That's in line with the high levels of natural gas that come out of the state's southwest corner and Kansas reserves of about 8.7
trillion cubic feet, 10th largest in the United States.

In 1994, about 32 percent of Kansas' total fuel consumption was natural gas; about 28 percent, petroleum; 24 percent, coal; 7 percent, nuclear; and less than .5 percent, biofuels.

The same year, about 73 percent of the fuel produced by Kansas was natural gas and about 27 percent crude oil. Coal amounted to much less than 1 percent.

Kansas' natural gas reserves are made more significant by a recent energy summit meeting in Kyoto, Japan, which called for a reduction of greenhouse gases and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.

Watney said that the combustion of natural gas produces 44 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and 26 percent less than gasoline.

The potential exists to increase Kansans' consumption of natural gas consumption, Watney said.

Forty-two percent of the state's natural gas is exported, he said, while accounting for only 6 percent of the energy used in power generation in Kansas. Moreover, natural gas represents only 13 percent of energy consumed in transportation within the state.

Annual production of natural gas in Kansas has increased steadily in the 1990s, he said, because of increased drilling activity in the Hugoton Gas Area, one of the largest gas fields in the northern hemisphere. The Hugoton Field includes southwestern Kansas and portions of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

Steady increases in domestic natural gas consumption are projected by the U.S. Department of Energy, in its Annual Energy Outlook 1998, through at least 2020, Watney said.

He said that the United States has enough recoverable energy reserves to supply its energy needs for oil for 7.6 years, for natural gas for 153 years and for coal for 527 years.

The world's oil reserves amount to a 50-year supply. Its gas reserves would last 68 years.

Renewable energy resources - solar or wind power, for example - haven't caught on nationally or in Kansas, Watney said.

They constitute only 7.2 percent of the nation's energy supply and less than .5 percent of Kansas'.

Kansas ranked 8th in oil production in 1995 (43,767,000 barrels). This compares to Texas ranked no. 1 with 600,056,000 barrels of crude oil production. Kansas ranked 6th in natural gas production with 721,733 million cubic feet. Texas again is no. 1 in the country with 6,372,561 million cubic feet of natural gas produced.

Roger Martin
Communications Director RGSPS

June 2002
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