natural gas

Carlos Moreno

In a typical February, the small Wabaunsee school district just west of Topeka pays a natural gas utility bill of about $4,300. This year, its bill was more than $53,000.

It’s not because classrooms were cranking up the heat. Wabaunsee is just one of hundreds of school districts in Kansas hit by an unprecedented spike in wholesale natural gas prices during February’s record-setting winter storm. Now the state is stepping in with $20 million in loans to help. 

Gas furnace
Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Last February, the city of Cheney, Kansas – located just west of Wichita – paid about $2 per thousand cubic feet, or unit, of natural gas on the wholesale market.

But last week, during the height of the winter storm, it was paying more than $600 per unit.

“We didn’t have the option to just say, ‘We don’t want gas for our community,’” said Cheney City Administrator Danielle Young.  “We just had to take the price we were given to make sure our residents were staying warm.”

Tenawa Gas Processing of Houston says it will start construction of a multi-million-dollar processing plant near Haven in south-central Kansas this month.

The new plant uses a process that cools the natural gas flowing through an interstate pipeline and extracts the resulting liquids.

Those liquids are processed into different components and sold to various industries.

Tenawa officials say the plant will process 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas a day. It is expected to employ 12 to 15 people.

Lawrence Looking At Natural Gas To Fuel New City Buses

Aug 26, 2013

City leaders in Lawrence are putting the brakes on plans to purchase new buses for their public transportation fleet. They're giving another look at using compressed natural gas as a power source. The city had planned to buy three diesel and diesel-electric hybrid buses, but it's re-thinking the purchase because of the lower cost of natural gas.

A feasibility study four years ago compared the fuel costs, but that was before natural gas prices dropped and supplies increased.

The average price for diesel fuel nationally is about $3.90 per gallon.

Kansas Oil Production Up, Natural Gas Down

May 10, 2013

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.