Kentucky Geological Survey Information Circular


The 2010 oil and natural gas production data by well published by the Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas were analyzed in response to proposed rules for limiting emissions from oil and natural gas facilities. Average daily production was determined for 5,044 oil wells and 12,940 natural gas wells. Of these wells, 955 are combined oil and natural gas producers. The overwhelming majority of Kentucky’s wells are marginal (stripper) wells and produce at rates of less than 10 barrels of oil (or barrels of oil equivalent) per day (bo/d) or 60 thousand cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mcf/d) during the months they are operated. The median oil production rate is 0.87 bo/d. The median natural gas production rate is 12 Mcf/d.

The 2010 data used in this assessment include production for both recently completed wells and very old wells, the oldest having been completed in 1912. Although the data describe the production across the state that could contribute to emissions, the findings do not reflect newer wells that are expected to be in the early phase of production. A total of 151 oil wells and 1,468 natural gas wells were selected for study that were completed since January 1, 2005, were operated for 12 months in 2010, and had at least 36 months of production. The median oil well in this category produced 2.2 bo/d over all periods the well was operated. Production data for 2010 consisted of information for only four horizontal oil wells, not sufficient to compare the performance of horizontal and vertical completions. The median natural gas well in this category produced an average of 28 Mcf/d over all periods during which the well was operated. For these gas wells, there were 1,217 vertical and 251 horizontal completions. Horizontal natural gas wells exhibit higher maximum monthly production rates and greater 3-yr cumulative production than was observed in most conventional vertical wells.

Publication Date



Series XII

Report Number

Information Circular 30

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)