Natural gas is the most valuable product of the Kansas mining industry, accounting for one-half of its income. Oil is second in value of production. Other minerals adding to the economy include stone, salt, and helium. Production of petroleum has fallen in recent years because the principal fields have been in production for more than one-half century. The value of oil produced in the early 1990s was less than one-half that of the mid-1980s. Meanwhile, during the same period, the value of natural gas produced nearly doubled. The major oil-producing areas are located in central Kansas, in Ellis, Barton, Russell, and Butler counties. However, oil is also produced in small quantities throughout much of the state. Most of the state’s natural gas comes from the immense Hugoton field, which underlies several counties in southwestern Kansas and extends into Oklahoma and Texas.
Helium is extracted from helium-bearing natural gas at plants in Rice, Haskell, Grant, Scott, Seward, Morton, and Rush counties. Much of this nonflammable gas is shipped directly by pipeline to the Cliffside Gas Field, a government helium storage facility near Amarillo, Texas.
Coal occurs in fairly thick beds in eastern Kansas. Although coal production has declined considerably since the beginning of the 20th century, the state’s total reserves remain quite large. Lead and zinc ores were mined in the southeast from 1877 to 1970.
Stone, mainly limestone, is quarried in nearly half of all the counties in Kansas. Salt is produced from underground mines in Rice, Reno, Barton, Ellsworth, and Sedgwick counties in central Kansas.
One section of a large salt mine in Reno County has been converted into a records-storage facility for government agencies and industrial firms. Sand-and-gravel production is widespread in Kansas. Much of it is used, together with stone and gypsum, as raw material in making cement and concrete. "Kansas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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