I left this morning (October 2, 2012) before sunrise and returned after sunset. I toured, with other state officials, Ford, Harper, and Kiowa Counties, looking at some of the horizontal drilling (fracking) that is occurring, but mostly talking to local officials in these areas about the impact to their community and what needs to done to prepare for its growing influence. This including, of course, how we deal with insuring that the water needed for both fracking and potential future growth of these rural communities can occur in a way that protects other water rights and the environment. An interesting day. I saw a lot of windmills as well.
Oil and gas produced from horizontal wells is still a very small part of the total (well under 1% at this point), but it has doubled over the last 6 months and will continue to expand at a significant rate during this “exploratory” phase. But from what I could see, it seems it is here to stay; the question is the scale. For more information see the links below.
I think Kansas is fortunate that the development occurred in North Dakota and Oklahoma first as we are learning from their experience. The rate of growth is also manageable so far. Time will tell if this remains true.
For more information: