Leaders Consider Permitting Oil Drilling In Downtown Wichita

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

Request Before Metropolitan Area Planning Commission

1. A conditional use permit to allow oil drilling on the application area

2. Amendment to the City's oil and gas map to allow drilling on the site

3. A special permit to drill for oil and gas

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Monday, September 9, 2013

This week, city planners will vote on whether or not to permit oil drilling in Downtown Wichita.

Many near the drilling site, at Sycamore and McLean, are against the project.

"Pretty much the consensus is a big no. There's a lot of different reasons," said Karen Cravens, president of the Delano Neighborhood Association.

The developers, Trek AEC, are convinced that there is oil underneath Century II. The plan is to know within two weeks of drilling, if there is oil in Downtown Wichita.

If they discover the oil, then the developers will start production 60 to 90 days after constructing the site. The City of Wichita is expected to get at least 15-percent of the royalties.

"If it's a small pool, it will be $6-7 million of revenue to the City of Wichita. If it's a large pool, it could be as much as $100 million," said Gregory Ferris, representative.

Ferris added that there is no fracking or horizontal drilling planned for the site.

"This type of oil is not found in horizontal drilling. We're doing conventional drilling techniques because it's an oil pool," said Ferris.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission will vote on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. inside City Hall. There will be an opportunity for public comment before the vote.

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