The Anadarko Basin is a geologic feature covering approximately fifty thousand square miles primarily in west-central Oklahoma, but including the upper Texas Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, and southeastern Colorado. The basin contains sedimentary deposits ranging in thickness from two thousand feet on its northern and western flanks to forty thousand feet in its southern portion. Significant oil and gas discoveries have been made throughout this region, including the Hugoton-Panhandle Gas Field of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in the 1920s and numerous others in Oklahoma, such as the West Edmond Field, the Union City Field, and the Elk City Field, after 1950. Practically all of these discoveries developed at depths of less than ten thousand feet.
Beginning in the late 1950s, when technological advance allowed it, Anadarko Basin wells began to be drilled below the thirteen-thousand-foot level in what geologists call "the deep gas play." Since then, numerous gas wells have been drilled there below the twenty thousand foot range, including the Lone Star Bertha Rogers in Beckham County. At 31,441 feet, the Bertha Rogers well held a record at the turn of the twenty-first century as the world's deepest producing well. The great expense and technological expertise necessary to complete gas wells at these depths has made the Anadarko Basin the domain of the major petroleum corporations, and at the close of the twentieth century this vast Oklahoma region was the most prolific gas-producing area in the nation.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Anadarko Basin," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Kenny A. Franks, The Oklahoma Petroleum Industry (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980). Charles N. Gould, "The Anadarko Basin," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 1 April 1934. Bess Mills-Bullard, Digest of Oklahoma Oil and Gas Fields, Oklahoma Geological Survey Bulletin 40, Vol. 1 (July 1928).
Bobby D. Weaver
© Oklahoma Historical Society