TOPEKA — Independent Oil and Gas Company hit natural gas nearly a century ago while drilling 2,600 feet below the surface of Hugoton at its Crawford No. 1 site in Stevens County.
Field workers in that oil-and-gas patch during the 1920s may not have appreciated they’d marked the center of Hugoton Field, one of the largest gas repositories in the United States. Southwest Kansas now features thousands of wells and thousands of miles of pipeline carrying gas across the country.
The business of selling natural gas, which provides heat for homes and drives irrigation equipment in crop fields, is at the vortex of a pending regulatory dispute to be decided 360 miles east of Hugoton by the Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka.