Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hydraulic Fracturing and How Does it Work?
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracing," is a method pioneered in Kansas* in 1947, used to allow oil and natural gas producers to safely recover oil and gas from oil- and gas-producing formations.
- Stimulates a well to increase oil or gas production.
- Each fracture job is engineered to be the most effective and stay in the pay zone.
- Procedure done after the well is drilled, before it is put on pump.
- Water and sand, along with other additives, are mixed, then pumped below ground to fracture the producing rock matrix. Water and sand make up 98% of the fluid pumped into the formation; other additives equal 2%.
- A proppant is introduced, generally fine grained sand. Fractures are then held open by the sand, allowing the natural gas previously trapped to flow to the wellbore and be collected at the surface.
- "Slick water treatment" is introduced to increase viscosity.
- Flowback fluids empty into tanks or pits that are then disposed of properly.
*Kansas was the first in the nation, a well frac in Grant County in 1947 by Stanolind Oil Company.
Are Hydraulic Fracture Jobs Performed in Kansas?
Yes, to increase enhanced oil recovery performance in thousands of jobs, for example:
- Conventional wells
- Vertical wells in sandstones and carbonates
- South central and southwest regions of Kansas
- Coal bed methane wells – Southeast Kansas
- Niobrara chalk wells – Northwest Kansas
- Horizontal wells
- Conventional oil and gas plays
- Injection wells
- Saltwater disposal wells for increased disposal
Why is Hydraulic Fracturing Important in Kansas?
- Oil and natural gas is the state's second largest industry, generating more than $6 billion each year and sending more than 28,000 Kansans to work each day.
- More than $360 million each year from oil and natural gas production goes to roads, schools, and other public projects.
- Current Oil Production:
- 35.7 millions barrels annually
- 97,800 barrels per day
- Ranked 8th among 31 oil-producing states
- Hydraulic fracturing is a valuable tool that makes many wells economic to complete and produce that otherwise would not be economical.
- In some cases, hydraulic fracturing eliminates the need to drill more wells, which lessens the surface footprint.
Statistics from KIOGA
Who Regulates Hydraulic Fracturing in Kansas and How?
By regulating the oil and gas exploration industry since the 1930s, the KCC
has developed sound regulations to protect surface, ground water, and
correlative rights. The 85 full-time employees (geologists, engineers, technical
staff, attorneys, and field inspectors) who work in the Conservation Division
enforce these regulations by witnessing, inspecting, and permitting drilling,
well-completion, and production throughout the state.
- Surface pipe regulations
- Production casing regulations
- Well-cementing requirements
- Intent-to-drill process
- Well spacing requirements
- Pit permitting process
- Well completion reporting requirements