Kansas oil production up, natural gas down

LAWRENCE — Oil production in Kansas increased in 2012, buoyed in part by output from horizontal wells in several southern counties, as natural gas production continued to decline, according to estimates from the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kansas.

Oil production in Kansas rose from about 41.5 million barrels in 2011 to 43.7 million barrels in 2012, an increase of 5 percent. Over the same period natural gas production in the state declined 4 percent from 3.12 billion cubic feet (bcf) in 2011 to just under 3 bcf in 2012.

“Consistently higher oil prices since 2000 — when the price was $25 per barrel compared to $84 now — have sustained the increase in the state’s drilling activity,” said KGS geologist Lynn Watney. “In contrast, new drilling in the Hugoton Gas Area, the state’s largest natural gas field, has essentially stopped due to continuing low gas prices.”

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