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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Aug. 31, 1995

Natural Gas Production Up, Oil Down in 1994

LAWRENCE--Natural gas production in Kansas increased slightly in 1994, while the state's oil production dropped, a continuation of trends that started in 1992, according to a new report on the state's oil and gas fields from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

Gas production was up nearly 4 percent from 1993, to 713 billion cubic feet. Nearly 90 percent of the state's natural gas production came from the Hugoton field, one of the world's largest natural gas fields, located in southwestern Kansas. The total value of natural gas produced in the state was $1.27 billion.

Stevens County was the leading gas-producing county, with 165 billion cubic feet of production, or more than 20 percent of the gas produced in the state.

"The increase in natural gas production is largely based on a change of government regulations in the 1980s that allowed additional wells to be drilled in the Hugoton," said Tim Carr, the Survey's chief of petroleum research.

After Stevens County, the state's leading gas-producing counties were Grant (121 billion cubic feet), Kearny (77.7), Morton (64.4), Finney (44.2), Haskell (42.7), Seward (39.0), Stanton (37.7), Hamilton (14.0), and Barber (11.1).

Oil production dropped about 6 percent from 1993, to just under 47 million barrels. That's the lowest level of oil production in the state since 1934. The total value of oil produced in the state in 1994 was just under $700 million. Ellis County continued to lead the state in oil production, pumping 3.2 million barrels of oil in 1994.

"The decline in oil production is a continuation of a trend that began in the mid-1980s, and mostly reflects lower prices for oil," said Carr. "With lower prices, the number of wells drilled was at the lowest rate since the 1930s and 1940s, and that will continue the decrease in finding reserves and producing oil."

The new report shows the production of each of the state's oil and gas fields, organized by county. The Shuck field, in Seward and Stevens counties, was the state's leading oil-producing field in 1994, with 1.1 million barrels of production. A new program of waterflooding, or using water to push additional oil out of underground oil-bearing rock formations, increased the Shuck's production from 213,000 barrels in 1992 to over a million barrels last year. The Bemis-Shutts field in Ellis and Rooks counties was the state's second-largest producing field.

The Trapp field in Barton and Russell counties is now the most prolific oil field in the history of the state, having produced 299 million barrels of oil since it was discovered in 1929. The El Dorado field in Butler County is second, with production totaling 298 million barrels.

The state's other leading oil producing counties in 1994 were Finney (2.8 million barrels), Russell (2.6), Rooks (2.1), Barton (2.0), Seward (1.9), Ness (1.8), Butler (1.8), Stafford (1.5), and Haskell (1.5).

"Oil and gas produced nearly $2 billion in revenue for Kansas in 1994, a significant component of the Kansas economy," said Carr. "Over the past 40 years, the value of oil and production has been roughly comparable to the cash receipts for all the crops produced in the state."

The complete report, which shows the production for each of the state's oil and gas fields, by Survey geologist Doug Beene, is available from the Kansas Geological Survey, West Campus, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047 (785-864-3965). The cost is $15.00, plus $4.00 handling and shipping. Kansas residents should add 6.9% sales tax.

For more information, contact Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs