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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Oct. 27, 1994

KGS to Unveil Major Hugoton Gas Field Study Proposal

LAWRENCE--A plan to undertake a comprehensive study of the Hugoton gas area, one of the world's largest gas fields, was among the topics discussed when the Kansas Geological Survey Advisory Council met Oct. 20-21 in Liberal.

The 12-member Council, which generally meets at the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas, held its fall meeting in southwest Kansas at the invitation of area oil and gas producers, legislators and council members.

"We are proposing a two- to five-year comprehensive study of the area surrounding the Hugoton field from basement to surface," said Tim Carr, KGS chief of petroleum resources, including its evolution; the formation and trapping of oil and gas; and the movement of fluids through it, including water. It's designed to understand and extend the productive life of the area -- to optimize production.

Members of the Advisory Council include: Chairperson Joyce Allegrucci, Topeka; Robert Crangle, Lincoln; Dyan Conway, Kansas City; John L. Havlin, Manhattan; Rep. David Heinemann, Garden City; Gary Hulett, Hays; Jeffrey Mason, Goodland; Sen. Steven Morris, Hugoton; David Nance, Pittsburg; Marvin Odgers, Sublette; John Prather, El Dorado; Richard Smith, Wichita; William Hambleton, Lawrence and A. Scott Ritchie, Wichita.

In addition to the Hugoton study, the Council discussed reports from the KGS director, a new program aimed at enhancing public outreach, and a study assessing resources and environment of the Missouri River Basin in Kansas. The Council also discussed the Survey's ongoing geologic mapping program.

The proposed Hugoton study will focus on the Hugoton gas area and other fields associated with the Hugoton, covering a 13-county area of southwestern Kansas underlain by the Hugoton embayment. The study area is bounded on the northwest by Wallace and Logan counties and arcs southeast to Ford and Clark counties. The Hugoton in Kansas has remaining natural gas reserves estimated at more than 10 trillion cubic feet. It produces 83 percent of the state's natural gas and about 20 percent of the state's oil.

Few wells have penetrated into the deeper horizons of the field, Carr said. No one has adequately explored or mapped the extent of these horizons. Since the mid 1980s, there have been some tentative penetrations of these horizons and oil production has gone up substantially.

Carr said the proposed study would begin with a computer integration and analyses of all information on file from 10,000 to 15,000 wells drilled in the area.

From this we can understand the evolution of the basin from 570 million years ago to the present, determine how it was laid down and how it was filled, Carr said. Once we have a rough idea of the architecture of the basin, we can build a large hydrological model to understand the movement of fluids through it. If producers, royalty owners, and state regulators and scientists are operating from a common understanding of the Hugoton Field, we have a solid basis for decisions affecting the future of continued production.

Carr said the study is contingent on winning adequate endorsements and funding.

story by Martha Walker
For more information, contact Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965

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