Kansas oil production continued its decline in 2017 even as prices began to tick up.
In 2017, oil production dropped by 6 percent. It’s the third straight year the state has seen a decrease in production.
The Kansas Geological Survey says the declines are largely due to a decrease in oil prices, which peaked near $100 a barrel in 2014 and fell to as little as $30 a barrel in early 2016.
“Even with prices back up between $60 and $65 per barrel today, I don't think drilling will substantially increase in the region unless prices substantially increase,” said Kansas Geological Survey geologist David Newell.
Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association President Ed Cross said producers are still being conservative with their resources, but he thinks production will begin to stabilize in 2018.
“Many of the operators I think are optimistic about maybe where oil prices are going, but they’re also trying to rebuild their capital,” he said.
Ellis County in western Kansas was the leading producer in 2017, followed by Haskell, Barton, Finney and Russell counties.
Brian Grimmett, based at KMUW in Wichita, is a reporter focusing on the environment and energy for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @briangrimmett. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.