Large oil companies pulling up stakes in Kansas

oil (AP) — The future seemed so tantalizing just two years ago as the nation’s big oil firms rushed into Kansas.

They snapped up mineral leases from landowners for high prices and drilled horizontal wells to extract unknown riches from the same Mississippian Lime formation that had spawned an oil boom in neighboring Oklahoma.

Now most of those big players are gone. The biggest blow came when oil giant Shell Oil Co. halted its Kansas exploratory drilling program in May and has since put up for sale 625,000 acres of leases it owns in the state.

Exploration is ongoing and growing more modestly.

It’s now driven by the Kansas producers who for decades have drilled here and the few out-of-state die-hards like SandRidge Energy of Oklahoma City who stayed with scaled-down operations.

Last year, Ellis County was the top oil production county in Kansas with nearly 3.6 million barrels, an increase of about 5% over 2011. Following Ellis and Barber counties, the other top-ten oil-producing counties in 2012 were Barton, Russell, Ness, Rooks, Haskell, Finney, Graham, and Stafford, with Barton, Russell, Rooks, and Ness counties all produced between 2 and 2.21 million barrels.


  • redneck idiot

    wish walmart would pull out of kansas also, guess they are not done raping us yet the these big oil companies have done

    • ZMan

      Okay, I’ll play. How is Wal-Mart “raping us”?

      • Who Cares

        American capitalism at its best. They found a system that works, make it cheap and sell it high. I don’t blame Wal-Mart, they don’t hide the fact that they make a cheap product and sell it for a cheap price. You get what you pay for and Wal-Mart is the best I can afford.

      • Oreally

        A majority of WM employees end up on some form of assistance since they keep them just below full-time(no benefits that way) and at just above minimum wage.

  • Scott

    Here is the question we need to be asking ourselves and the so called leaders in Hays and Ellis Co. What has been done to take advantage of this gift? Income taxes should be at an all time high with all this oil money along with sales tax collection as many are employed. They justify raising our property taxes (2nd behind Johnson Co) based on the fact that we have a strong local economy based on the oil production. What do we have to show for it? No new schools,no new infrastructure, and NO WATER. Every time something needs to be done they come back to the taxpayer, for example the new EMS building and a jail. I’m not saying we don’t need them, I’m only asking where is the money? There will be a day when this will all end, many jobs will be lost, the revenue will stop rolling in and we will still be sitting on our hands. Good luck bringing in new jobs and keeping people in our community with no water. You think you have a hard time taxing people now, wait till many don’t have jobs and our population declines. There will be an excess of housing and only then will prices come down. Guess what happens then, less revenue on property taxes. Start thinking of our future and make moves now before it’s too late!

    • jackson

      you forgot USD 489 proposing a massive property tax hit on next years ballot. i agree 100% with your thinking. as taxpayers we are being drowned and nothing to show for it.

    • JR

      Spoken like someone who truly has no clue. If you have gas or oil wells on your property you are taxed three and four times.

      • Scott

        Your making my point. My question is where are the tax revenues from the gas or oil wells that you say are taxed three and four times going? Compared to most communities ours should be thriving and flush with cash with all the taxes paid and revenues coming in.

        • A_citizen_patriot

          Maby you should question your elected officials instead of wanting to take more money from peoples pockets.

          • Scott

            I am in no way shape or form wanting to take more money from peoples pockets or oil company’s pockets! I’m saying the money should already be there and I’m questioning why it is not? Where is our local gov bleeding/wasting the large sum of taxes that are collected based on the oil money being injected into our local economy. The local gov should not have to be coming to the citizens for more money, it should be there. Oil revenue is an injection of taxable money that many counties/cities do not have. Eventually oil prices will go down and this inflow of money will decrease significantly.

            Let me try to better explain myself. When an oil well is drilled and produces oil, a refinery buys that oil and new money is injected into our economy. It is taxed numerous times over through income tax and sales tax collected from goods bought. Since flow charts are a popular topic these days hopefully you can view this and better understand my perspective.

          • Scott

            I apologize, my chart will not show up.

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Ahh, in your original post you said that income tax should be at a all time high. I belive you meant to say that income tax collection. I misunderstood you.