Work in the Kansas Oilfields

Oil and gas activity in Kansas is really starting to heat up, and the next boomtowns are springing up in southern Kansas, where large and small companies have been exploring an area called the Mississippian Limestone formation.Kansas Oilfield Jobs photo If you're thinking of getting a job in the oil and gas industry, Kansas may be the place to look.

Hundreds of workers are flooding into the Mississippian Limestone formation, or 'play,' a thick but porous limestone formation that extends 6000 feet below the surface of the earth, over millions of acres in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. If early estimates play out, Kansas may see 100,000 new jobs directly and indirectly related to activity at the Mississippian Limestone play.

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Competition among companies for lease land is fierce. In Harper County and other surrounding counties along the south central border of Kansas, companies are offering farmers up to $1250 per acre - plus royalties - for the mineral rights that allow them to drill on the land, the same rights that were going for about $25 an acre early in 2011.

Why Kansas?

Oil companies first began exploring the Mississippian formation in southern Kansas in 2011. The fact that there is oil in this region has been known for many years, but vertical drilling spanning over 50 years was thought to have tapped this area out decades ago. However, new techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have greatly revitalized drilling activity in the Mississippian Lime, and the play could provide thousands of jobs and industry activity for the next two or three decades, although its full potential has yet to be determined.

Major Exploration and Production Players

There are several companies considered to be major players in the Mississippi Limestone formation, including:

  • SandRidge Energy, one of the first to be active in the Mississippian Limestone formation, estimates that there may be upwards of 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Kansas, and the company is on pace to buy 2 million acres of oil leases in Oklahoma and Kansas and become the biggest single player in the state's oil boom.
  • Encana disclosed in the summer of 2012 that it has 360,000 net acres under lease with 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) in Mississippian oil operations.
  • The second largest player in the Mississippian formation has acquired over 1.4 million acres and announced plans to divert resources from its natural gas operations to oil exploration and gathering at the Mississippian play.
  • Another major company just got back into the Kansas oil and gas industry, after nearly 20 years out of the state, in the fall of 2011 when it finalized a deal with Woolsey Petroleum Management Corporation in Wichita and leased a large amount of land in the Mississippian Lime.

Find all the employers in the OilJobFinder member's section! You'll find a wide variety of jobs in the booming Kansas oil market, from laborer to management positions.

Employment Opportunities

Oil jobs can pay very well and typically include benefits. In Kansas, even those with only a high school education can make $60,000 or more per year.

In Harper County, Kansas, oil companies have brought in more than 500 new jobs this past year, and many of these positions are being filled by out of state workers. To entice workers to come to Kansas and work in the oil fields, Kansas and Harper County have been offering incentives like income tax rebates for up to five years for those who move to the county from another state, and up to $3,000 per year toward student loans for college graduates who decide to move to the area.

More Information

For information on all the activity and the emerging job openings at the Mississippian Limestone operations, access your OilJobFinder Membership today!

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