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Helium in Kansas Fields


First of Non-Inflammable Product Was Found at Augusta, but Its Value

Was Not Known—Dexter Field Leads Now.


Winfield, Kas., April 1.—Kansas, which once thrilled the world of petroleum with the discovery of imperial crude oil riches, may yet startle the chemical and aeronautical circles of science by its supply of the new marvel gas, helium.

Kansas has the richest gas field in helium content so far found in the world, according to M. W. Baden of Winfield, one of the best known geologists in the state.

The first helium gas bearing the high content to be found in the state was at Augusta several years ago. This gas was found at a depth of five hundred feet. It was worthless at that time. No effort was made to conserve it, or to prolong the life of the producing area. The field is exhausted.

Natural gas bearing the largest helium content of any field in the world at the present time is at Dexter, Cowley County, it is said by Baden. The first well was drilled there in 1903. The gas was sent to the University of Kansas for analysis, which was made by Hamilton P. Cady and David D. McFarland. It disclosed a helium content. After the analysis Professor Cady obtained samples from all Kansas fields. The Dexter sample contained a greater percentage of helium than any other sample obtained in the state. Recent investiga-tion, according to Baden, and an analysis of gas fields all over the United States shows the Dexter field to contain the largest helium content of any field in the world.

"Most of the helium bearing gas fields of Kansas have a greater helium content than the Petrolia field," Baden says. "Since the Augusta shallow sand gas field has been exhausted, the Dexter deep sand probably contains a higher percentage than any other gas field in the world. The Eldorado gas field has a sand that was found at 900 to 1,200 feet, carrying about 1.25 per cent helium.

"The gases found in the Dexter field contain nitrogen content of more than 82 per cent. Nitrogen gas, being a non-reactive gas, will not burn under ordinary conditions. This large production of nitrogen found in the Dexter field makes it possible for future use as a fertilizer.

"Prof. A. C. Duncan of the University of Kansas has found that the Dexter gas, with its rich nitrogen content, will yield cyanamis (CaCn2) when passed over calcium carbide (CaC2) at a high temperature."


Cowley County Historical Society Museum