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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, March 19, 2007

New Online Program Helps Collect Oil and Gas Data

LAWRENCE--Oil and gas producers can now submit production data online to the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) and will soon be able to electronically submit drilling permits to the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) through a new system developed by the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas.

Named SOLAR, short for Simplified On-Line Automated Reporting, the system allows operators to submit severance tax information online to KDOR and will be set up to accept intent-to-drill forms filed with the KCC in the near future.

"Currently, oil and gas operators have to mail reports to different agencies," said Keith Hunsinger, KGS application program developer. "With SOLAR they will be able to electronically submit the information to one central system."

In 2006, 542 operators submitted 5,550 intent-to-drill forms with the KCC, and approximately 200 operators reported more than $133.5 million in oil and gas severance tax revenue to DOR. The system will save time and increase efficiency for both the oil and gas industry and the participating agencies.

"The goal is to make filing forms quicker and without paperwork," said Kurt Look, KGS manager of computing services. "The program is designed to tell users if they've made a reporting mistake before they actually submit the information. That saves a lot of work down the road with corrections and re-submittals to the agencies."

Another advantage is that SOLAR pulls information from existing electronic data sets so that operators can more accurately complete the forms. For example, when an operator enters a legal land description on an intent-to-drill form, SOLAR will provide them with an estimated elevation for that location, determine if the site is located in an established oil or gas field, and generate information on water wells in the area. It also provides an aerial photograph of the site.

The SOLAR program was created through a partnership of the Kansas Geological Survey, the KCC, KDOR, and county appraisers. Eventually, other KCC forms will be accessible through the system along with ad valorem tax forms, which are sent to county appraisers. Ad valorem taxes, collected by Kansas counties, amounted to nearly $170 million from the oil and gas industry in calendar year 2005.

For more information on SOLAR or to register for an account, contact the KGS at 785-864-7665 or go online to participate in testing of the SOLAR on-line filings of the intent-to-drill application, contact Amy Banks, KCC applications developer, at 316-337-6219.

Links of interest to this article:
Kansas Corporation Commission
Kansas Dept. of Revenue
Oil and Gas Production Data from the KGS

Story by Cathy Evans, (785) 864-2195.
For more information, contact Kurt Look, (785) 864-2086.

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach