This short note is an attempt to develop a perspective on the relative importance of stripper well production to current Kansas oil and gas production. Stripper wells are economically marginal oil and gas wells that produce at relatively low rates. The definition of stripper wells varies. For oil, stripper production is between 5 and 15 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). Stripper gas production would generally be anything less than 90 thousand cubic feet per day (MCFPD).
Wells that are producing at stripper well rates make up a significant portion of Kansas oil and gas production, and more importantly represent a very large portion of existing well bores. These well bores represent a very large capital investment that is at risk of being plugged and abandoned.
We examined the most recent available production from the period of January through May 1997. This provides a five month period to average production and to capture leases and wells that report production only on an intermittent basis. All leases were extracted from the oil and gas production database that produced any oil or gas during the five month period. Lease production was divided by the number of wells listed for each lease and then by 150 days to obtain an estimated average daily production per well.
Results: Oil Production
Oil production in the first five months of 1997 was reported from 14,234 leases with 31,691 wells. Total production was 16,660,285 barrels of oil. This is an average monthly production of 3,348,131 barrels of oil. Average daily per well production would be 3.5 barrels of oil.
The number of oil wells grouped by production rate shows that over 96% of the oil wells in Kansas average less than 15 BOPD (Table 1). Approximately 29,918 wells producing 66% of the state's oil would be considered as stripper production. This represents a very large number of well bores that are at risk to abandonment.
Results: Gas Production
Gas production in the first five months of 1997 was reported from 14,800 leases with 14,966 wells. Total production was 288.5 billion cubic feet. This is an average monthly production of 57.7 billion cubic feet. Average daily per well production would be 129 MCF.
The number of gas wells grouped by production rate shows that 46.6% of the gas wells in Kansas average less than 90 MCFPD (Table 2). Approximately 6,967 wells producing 12.7% of the state's gas would be considered as stripper production.