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.