Since the conception of Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, oil has played a major role. It was discovered in 1914-1915 causing the city to become a major oil center, according to the city’s official Web site.
The abundance of money from the oil in the area fueled the creation of the budding airplane industry. The first plane, the Cessna Comet, was made in Wichita in 1917. The innovations in aviation continued into the 1920’s, establishing the city as the “Air Capital of the World.”
Aircraft manufacturing during World War II brought thousands of jobs to the city in the early 1940’s, which produced a population explosion. The aerospace history has made the Wichita area the second highest concentration of manufacturing jobs and skilled labor in the nation, according to the Wichita Chamber of Commerce’s Web site.
Additionally, the city has been the birthplace of many nationally prominent companies, such as Mentholatum, Boeing, Beech, Lear, Cessna, Coleman, White Castle, Pizza Hut and Koch Industries.
Wichita has an estimated population of 354,865. The community has been named an All-American City three times since 1962, and Money magazine recently named it a Top 10 Best Place to Live.
The city currently is not facing any air quality issues. “Wichita comes close to becoming an attainment city,” said Tom Palace, executive director of the Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association of Kansas. “But the air is clean, so there are no attainment issues.”
Aboveground tank owners and bulk plant owners in Kansas are still getting into compliance with federal Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations. Palace said the Kansas Essential Fuels Supply Act is still in effect, which provides up to 90 percent reimbursement for the upgrading or permanent closure of tanks to meet the SPCC requirements.
Kansas is also busy getting underground storage tank operators certified, as mandated by the Environmental Protect Agency. Palace said training sessions start this month to get employees in the over three hundred facilities across the state certified by 2012.
Kansas is one of the top 10 oil-producing states in the nation and is a substantial oil-refining state, according to the Energy Information Administration. Crude oil production, which typically represents roughly two percent of total annual U.S. production, takes place throughout the state totaling 3,036 thousand barrels a day. A network of pipelines delivers crude oil to Kansas’s three refineries, which have nearly 2 percent of the nation’s crude oil refining capacity at 300,700 barrels per calendar day.
The latest EIA data has the total petroleum consumption for Kansas at 81,806 thousand barrels and gasoline at 31,814 thousand barrels. There are 2,500 gasoline stations in the state. While Kansas does not require that motor gasoline be blended with ethanol, the state has several plants that produce ethanol from corn.
EIA information shows the average price per gallon of regular gasoline in Kansas for this year is $2.701, not including tax.