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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, May 23, 2002

Oil Production Steady, Natural Gas Production Drops, According to Survey Statistics

LAWRENCE--Kansas oil production held steady in 2001, while natural gas production dropped by about 10 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

Natural gas production was 474 billion cubic feet in 2001, worth about $1.97 billion. While natural gas production dropped from 531 billion cubic feet in 2000, the value of gas produced in 2001 increased because of higher natural gas prices early in the year. Kansas oil fields produced over 34 million barrels last year, worth an estimated $750 million. Oil production in 2001 was about the same as in 2000.

"The state's oil production has stabilized and has even increased slightly over the past three years," said geologist Tim Carr, head of the Survey's petroleum research section. "Natural gas production has dropped, as we see production declines from the aging Hugoton natural gas field in southwestern Kansas"

Ellis County in west-central Kansas continued to lead the state in oil production in 2001, pumping 2.8 million barrels of oil, about 8 percent of the oil produced in the state.

Stevens County, in southwestern Kansas, led the state in natural gas production again, producing more than 100 billion cubic feet, most of it from the Hugoton field. Stevens County produced about 21 percent of the natural gas that came from Kansas fields last year.

The bulk of the state's natural gas production, about 59 percent in 2001, came from the giant Hugoton natural gas area, which lies beneath all or parts of 13 counties in southwestern Kansas, as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Because the Hugoton is such a large field, production declines there tend to dominate natural gas figures statewide.

"We are rapidly adding natural gas production in eastern Kansas with the drilling of a number of wells that produce methane from coal beds," said Carr. "But they are still coming on-line, and the amount of gas produced by coal-bed methane wells, though significant, is small when compared to gas coming out of the Hugoton."

Natural gas prices in Kansas spiked in late 2000 and early 2001, the result of high demand from an especially cold winter and lower-than-normal amounts of natural gas in storage. Carr said that another cold winter in the coming year could again increase demand for natural gas and drive up prices.

The other top 10 oil-producing counties in Kansas in 2001 were, in order, Haskell, Finney, Russell, Rooks, Barton, Ness, Butler, Stafford, and Graham. All of those counties were in the top 10 in the previous year. Haskell County moved from third to second in 2001, while Finney dropped from second to third.

The other top 10 gas-producing counties were Grant, Kearny, Morton, Haskell, Finney, Seward, Stanton, Hamilton, and Barber.

An interactive map of Kansas oil and gas production, by county, is available from the Survey's web site (at

Link of interest to this article:
Oil and Gas Production in Kansas
Top Ten Lists

Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-2106
For more information, contact Tim Carr, (785) 864-2135

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach