Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 1.1
|From the Director
by Lee C. Gerhard,
Director and State Geologist
. . .we want to make the public aware of geologic information and how it can be used
this inaugural issue of The Geologic Record, the Kansas Geological
Survey announces its new Geology Extension program. For some years we
have searched for a new way to communicate our research results to the
public, educators, decision-makers, and our scientific colleagues. The
Geology Extension program answers that need.
The Geology Extension program is organized within Assistant Director
Rex Buchanan’s Publications and Public Affairs group. Bob Sawin
has been selected to develop a program of informal publications, talks,
field experiences, and coordination with museums and other public-outreach
and science-education organizations. We hope to demonstrate the significance
of geological resources to our way of life and economy, and explain how
they occur and can best be managed.
Since it was founded in 1889, the Survey has made information available
to the public. With this new program, we want to do more than provide
data—we want to make the public aware of geologic information and
how it can be used.
Our new program, Geology Extension, is the natural outgrowth of the research we conduct about the state’s geology and earth resources. We want the public to use our information and our resources.
DOE Awards $3.2 million
Without new techniques for producing additional oil, many of the state’s 6,000 oil fields might become uneconomic and be abandoned within the next five years
Researchers from the Kansas Geological
Survey have received a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of
Energy to demonstrate new ways of extending the life of the state’s
oil fields. The four-year project is a cooperative effort between Survey
and KU researchers and Ritchie Exploration, Inc., an independent Kansas
oil and gas operator headquartered in Wichita. The grant was made through
KU’s Energy Research Center to the Kansas Geological Survey and
the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project.
According to Tim Carr, chief of the Survey’s petroleum research
section, the grant’s objective is to demonstrate new approaches
and technology to extend production from the mature oil fields of Kansas.
“Without new techniques for producing additional oil, many of the
state’s 6,000 oil fields might become uneconomic and be abandoned
within the next five years,” said Carr.
The study will focus on the Schaben field in Ness County in west-central
Kansas. The Schaben field, discovered in 1963, has produced more than
8.2 million barrels of oil. The KU geologists and engineers, in cooperation
with Ritchie Exploration, plan to build a computerized model of the geology
of the field and its oil-producing formations. That model will help scientists
better estimate the remaining reserves and stimulate future production
based on different scenarios, such as increased drilling or different
Researchers also plan to evaluate the efficiency of various advanced
oil-recovery techniques—including targeted infill drilling and deepening
of existing wells. “With conventional recovery practices, older
Kansas fields are playing out,” said Carr. “As the major oil
companies become less active in Kansas, smaller independent producers
become more and more important. These producers need assistance in developing
new geologic information and new, low-cost technologies they can use to
get a few more barrels of oil a day out of marginal wells to keep them
producing a lot longer.”
Results from the Schaben field study will demonstrate the economic viability of applying similar advanced oil-recovery techniques to other Kansas reservoirs. “Sixty percent of the oil produced in Kansas comes from formations very similar to these,” said Carr. “Improved production here will have applicability across the state.”
Online February 10, 2003
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Kansas Geological Survey