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Delano residents hear oil drilling proposals

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July 16, 2013|by Pilar Pedraza | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

A Wichita businessman is proposing drilling for oil in the middle of the city.

The developer wants to look for oil in the Delano district, and underneath the Arkansas River and Century II. The oil wells would go into a triangle of land with businesses along Douglas on one side, the site of a planned new library on the second and McClean on the third.

John Schlegel, Wichita Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, told Delano residents Tuesday the developer already has mineral rights under the river from the state. The plan is to drill diagonally under the river and under city roads. Fracking will likely be involved.

The owner would put up an eight foot concrete wall around the wells while drilling. The exploratory portion of the drilling is expected to last from two weeks to two months, about 4,000 feet below the surface.

But residents questioned how the company would prevent potential hazards in such a populated area.

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Karen Cravens, Delano Neighborhood Association, said she doesn't want the drilling in her backyard.

"You'll definitely be able to smell it from there which is going to be kind of an issue for our commercial district," she said.    

Some residents were upset the city was even considering the proposal in the first place.  Schlegel told them when a zoning request is filed, the city has to consider it.

Residents are encouraged to speak during a planning commission meeting August 5th to make their voices heard. The city council must approve the measure before drilling could begin.

Delano residents hear oil drilling proposals
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