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Kansas Oil Production Up, Natural Gas Down

A new report from the Kansas Geological Survey shows oil production in Kansas last year was up over 2011, but natural gas production was down.

Officials with the survey report the nearly 44 million barrels of oil produced last year were the most since 1995. The oil had a value of $3.7 billion.

The report continues to say that innovation in  horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing, popularly known as "fracking," has been the main force behind recent activity that focuses on Mississippian-age oil-bearing rocks about 5,000 feet underground in southern and western Kansas. Easily accessible oil in the rocks, which were formed about 350 million years ago in shallow sea deposits, has already been removed through traditional vertical well production.

"By the end of 2012, the 162 recent horizontal wells were generating 5.9% of monthly oil and gas production in Kansas," said KGS David Newell. "The other 94.1% is produced from 49,275 oil wells and 24,625 gas wells across the state."

The survey also reported that Kansas natural gas production declined from 312 billion cubic feet in 2011 to slightly less than 300 billion cubic feet last year. The value of the gas declined 34 percent last year to about $790 million.

Ellis County was the state's largest oil producer with 3.6 million barrels in 2012. Stevens County produced the most natural gas, with 40 billion cubic feet.