Wichita officials take look at downtown drillers

Issues have arisen with two figures Wichita is negotiating with to extract oil from beneath the Century II exhibition hall in Wichita.

The Wichita Eagle reports that one man has unpaid state taxes, loan defaults and debt recovery judgments. A second key figure in the negotiations ran a company that has a tax dispute with the state.

The Eagle reported that city officials had no idea about the issues until the newspaper found the financial cases in Sedgwick County District Court last week. The discovery came weeks after city planning officials began discussing a mineral rights lease with the men.

The discovery has put the drilling project on shaky ground. Several city officials now say they won’t partner with any driller who has financial issues.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,