When a stranger stops into the local diner for breakfast in Kiowa, Kansas, people take notice. But lately in this rural town of 900 people, there have been a lot more new faces passing through, since the oil companies have made a push to drill here.
"We've been praying for economic development in this area for quite some time," says Brandon Farney, the town's mayor, whose family has farmed the same land just north of the Oklahoma border for five generations. "We're cautiously embracing this development."
Oil companies have been ramping up production in the Mississippian Lime formation, which extends from Northern Oklahoma into southwestern Kansas. It is an area where unconventional horizontal drilling is beginning to yield oil in fields where conventional wells have seen production decline.
Sandridge Energy's Tom Ward says oil output in the region by the end of the decade will grow to rival the production seen in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, ramping up from just over 3.5 million barrels a month, to well over 18 million barrels of oil and gas. And with it, he expects a similar boom in economic development.
"Overall, the impact of Kansas, in our opinion, will be an additional 1000,000 jobs that will be coming in the next 15 years," Ward says.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page