Companies Drilling in the Niobrara Shale
- Niobrara Shale Stocks
Noble Energy, Inc. NBL - Noble Energy NBL Niobrara Shale Update - In the Niobrara Shale, we will be expanding
our horizontal Niobrara program based on our results and a focus on continuing to appraise our acreage. We’re planning
to drill north of 70 horizontal Niobrara wells this year up from 27 last year.
We currently have three horizontal
rigs drilling in the basin. Our plans have us growing to four in the April timeframe and then five in the second half of the
year. These rigs will move around but on average we’ll have three to four in Wattenberg with one shared between Northern
Colorado and Wyoming. Our goal is to accelerate activity in areas where we know the potential is defined. For us this is in
Wattenberg, both in the core of the field and on the edges, areas where we have nice success to date and our growth outlook
is not constrained by infrastructure. We’ll continue delineating our acreage position in Northern Colorado and Wyoming
but at a more paced approach as compared to our plans for Wattenberg. This gives us time to test a number of different areas,
learn from others in the northern part of the play as well and allow for needed infrastructure development.
including both the core of the field and the edges, we have now drilled and completed over 25 horizontal wells. So far results
have confirmed high quality Niobrara horizontal potential across half of this 400,000 acre position. Twenty-one of our wells
have been online for more than 30 days with an average 24-hour IP of about 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and
a 30 day average of over 500 barrels of oil equivalent per day at 45% to 75% liquid content. In the heart of the field we
have just now completed our sixth well, and the overall results are very strong. One of our most recent Gemini type wells,
the Hanscom (ph), started with a 24-hour IP of over 1,250 barrels of oil equivalent per day and averaged 900 barrels of oil
equivalent per day for the first 30 days on a restricted choke up the casing.
We’ve completed 13 wells testing
the outlying edges of Wattenberg. Liquid contribution in this area exceeds 70% and has allowed us to drill economic horizontal
wells where vertical wells were previously marginal. Our latest estimate based on production history and our updated outlook
for horizontal Niobrara, EURs in Wattenberg is around 310,000 barrels equivalent per well, up from our previous 290,000 estimate.
northern Colorado we have drilled and completed four wells in our 190,000 acreage position to date. We are encouraged with
the results of our first two wells drilled with IPs that were 500 to 600 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 85% oil contribution.
Analysis indicates we did not effectively stimulate our next two wells, and we have adjusted our planned completions for the
following three wells in this area. We’re still optimistic about what we have learned so far, and our fifth well in
the area will be completed by the end of February, and the next two will be completed by early April.
The third phase
of our horizontal Niobrara program is in southeast Wyoming where we have drilled three wells. Two are undergoing completion
operations and one has just been completed and put on artificial lift. Our next drilling in this area will begin in the second
Supporting our overall DJ Basin program in 2011, we have committed to the purchase of approximately 1,000 square
miles of spec 3D seismic, and will be integrating the data into our future plans during the second half of the year. Across
our 830,000 acre position, we will have 1,300 square miles of 3D by the end of the year.
2011 Update - In the DJ Basin, the acceleration of our horizontal Niobrara
play continues. We are operating 5 horizontal and 8 vertical rigs in the DJ Basin and are on pace to have over 80 horizontal
wells drilled this year in the Wattenberg field. Additionally, we plan to have drilled 7 horizontal wells in northern Colorado
and one in Wyoming by year end. Of the wells in Wattenberg, 15% are in the higher GLR area and the remainder in the lower
GLR areas of the field where we've experienced roughly 70% liquids.
Our pace of drilling and completions continues to
increase. In the third quarter, we completed an average of 8 horizontal wells per month, including 10 in September, a significant
acceleration from the 4 completions per month that we averaged in the second quarter. We expect to maintain a rate of 10 horizontal
wells completed per month throughout the fourth quarter. This activity level is translating into production growth. At the
end of September, our horizontal Niobrara production
was 14,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day gross or 11,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Noble Energy. This is
up 64% from the 8,900 barrels oil equivalent per day gross at the end of the second quarter. We feel very good about the momentum
of this program.
Chesapeake Energy CHK - Rocky Mountain Unconventional Liquids Plays (southern Wyoming and
northern Colorado): And our data room is open for the Niobrara Shale JV, in which we own 800,000 net acres, evenly split between the Powder
River and D-J Basins. We expect to also sell a 33% working interest in this play at what we believe will be an attractive
price both to us and to our future partner. We believe the recoverable resource under our 800,000 net acres is
an unrisked approximate 4.6 billion barrels of oil, representing potentially $400 billion of future undiscounted revenue.
This is a reminder that the size of the plays that we have chased and have captured is quite remarkable. 2011 Update - Joint Venture Announced in Niobrara Shale - Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO; SEHK:00883)
today announced the closing of a project cooperation agreement whereby CNOOC International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary
of CNOOC Limited, purchased a 33.3% undivided interest in Chesapeake's 800,000 net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in
the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River Basins in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming. The consideration for the transaction
was $570 million in cash. In addition, CNOOC Limited has agreed to fund 66.7% of Chesapeake's share of drilling and completion
costs up to $697 million, which Chesapeake expects to occur by year-end 2014.
Also, In November 2011, Chesapeake
indicated they are selling some of their acreage on the northern side of the Niobrara play. They want to focus on core
Continental Resources CLR - Continental Resources (CLR) Niobrara Shale Update - Niobrara Play (Colorado
In the Niobrara/DJ Basin, Continental
completed the Buchner 1-2H (82% WI) in Weld County, CO, during the first quarter of 2012.
The Buchner 1-2H produced 910 Boepd (90 percent oil) in its initial one-day test period.
As previously announced, the
Company completed the Staudinger 1-31H (56% WI) in January 2012, which produced 739 Boepd in
its initial one-day test production period.
"We're currently assessing results for our first nine Niobrara
wells and preparing to initiate the second phase of our development program," Mr. Hamm said.
Continental had 92,842
net acres in the Niobrara/DJ Basin at March 31, 2012, with
approximately 25,000 net acres in the identified oil fairway of the play.
SM Energy SM - SM Energy (SM) Niobrara Shale - We have provided a map of our Niobrara
test wells in our southern DJ Basin acreage – I should say northern DJ Basin acreage. We have now completed five wells
in our perspective areas south of the Silo Field. The well results continue
to confirm our original thought that the highly fractured nature of the Niobrara in this area may result in a wider distribution
of outcomes in many other resource place. We believe that it is logical to try to drill these wells with longer laterals similar
to what we're doing in the Bakken. And that's the direction we'll be moving in this area in 2012. We're
currently drilling our first Niobrara test well in the deep portion of the Powder River Basin where we have a significantly
larger acreage position.
EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) - EOG Resources has 400,000 acres in the Niobrara shale ( Weld County ). Across
its other crude oil and liquids-rich shale plays, EOG also recorded strong, consistent performance. In the Rocky Mountains,
EOG has maintained a steady level of drilling activity in the Colorado Niobrara Shale and Wyoming Powder River Basin plays.
ConocoPhillips (COP) - ConocoPhillips has entered the Niobrara Shale - ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] today announced that
it has entered into an agreement to acquire up to 46,000 net acres of leasehold from Lario Oil & Gas Company in the Colorado
counties of Arapahoe, Adams, Elbert and Douglas. This agreement represents a significant investment by ConocoPhillips in this
area south and east of the greater Denver metroplex.
"ConocoPhillips is pleased to have this opportunity to
participate in the emerging Niobrara exploration and development play," said Larry Archibald, senior vice president of
Exploration and Business Development at ConocoPhillips. "Building on the strong relationships developed by Lario, we
look forward to working with all local stakeholders as a first step in demonstrating our commitment to act as a steward of
this region’s natural resources."
ConocoPhillips will become operator
of the acquired leases and will begin exploration efforts as soon as possible with the acquisition of a 3-D seismic
survey and drilling of test wells
Samson Oil & Gas Limited (SSN) - WYOMING DENVER-JULESBURG (D-J) BASIN - HAWK SPRINGS PROJECT, GOSHEN COUNTY, WYOMING
Defender US33 #2-29H, (SSN 37.5%
The Defender well has experienced a pump failure and therefore a work over rig is currently over
the well undertaking a pump replacement. The replacement pump being run is expected to be
suited to the amount of gas
that is contained in the oil, which has resulted in low pump efficiency.
Samson’s farminee has advised that it
will make a decision on drilling the second of its farmin wells
by March 31st 2012. Samson is currently permitting a
well in the sections immediately west of the
Defender location where the seismic coherency data suggests an intense level
of fracturing. This
location and two others would be available for the farminee to drill.
Encana ECA - Encana has announced they have acreage in the Niobrara Shale - In the DJ Basin Niobrara Wattenberg field in Colorado, Encana
holds about 48,000 net acres and has drilled five wells with horizontal lateral of between 4,100 and 4,500 feet with up to
17 completed stages. The 30-day production rate was between 260 bbls/d and 540 bbls/d of oil and between 100 bbls/d and 200
bbls/d of NGLs. Another 10 gross wells are planned for 2012. Encana has identified nearly 200 drilling locations on its existing
lands in the play.
Also in Colorado, Encana has six wells planned in 2012 for Piceance Niobrara/Mancos where the company
holds about 240,000 net acres within the identified potential liquids-rich area of the play.
Southwestern Energy (SWN) - Southwestern Energy (SWN) could be drilling the Niobrara Shale soon - The company has
also leased approximately 264,000 net acres in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in eastern Colorado where the company has begun
testing a new unconventional oil play targeting middle and late Pennsylvanian to Permian age carbonates and shales. In April,
the company spud its first well, the Ewertz Farms 1-58 #1-26, located in Adams County, Colorado, with a planned total vertical
depth of 9,500 feet with a 2,000-foot lateral targeting the Marmaton formation. This well reached a total depth of 9,543 feet
and is currently logging. The rig will next move to drill the Staner 5-58 #1-8 well located in Arapahoe County. This well
is planned to be drilled 9,000 feet vertically and is expected to spud in May. If the company's drilling program yields positive
results, it expects that activity in the area could increase significantly over the next several years.
MDU Resources MDU - MDU Resources Niobrara Oil Play - Niobrara - southeastern Wyoming
company holds approximately 65,000 net exploratory leasehold acres.
- The drilling of 4 operated
wells is expected for this year with approximately $25 million of capital expenditures.
200 potential gross well sites are available based on 640-acre spacing.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) - Anadarko Petroleum APC has provided a drilling update in the Niobrara Shale - Anadarko continued
to evaluate the horizontal Niobrara opportunity in its industry-leading 900,000 net acreage position in the DJ Basin. The
vast majority of this acreage is economically advantaged by the company's fee mineral ownership via the Land Grant. With three
horizontal rigs active in the play during the quarter, Anadarko drilled 10 horizontal Niobrara wells and is currently producing
from 15 wells. The company has an additional 360,000 net acres of horizontal Niobrara opportunity in the Powder River Basin,
where the company plans to add a rig in the 3rd quarter to test multiple locations. Anadarko plans to drill more than 40 horizontal
Niobrara wells during 2011.
- In November 2011, Anadarko updated the resource potential of its horizontal Niobrara and Codell opportunities in
the liquids-rich Wattenberg field of northeastern Colorado. Based upon the results of this horizontal drilling program, the
company announced a net resource potential within the Wattenberg field of 500 million to 1.5 billion BOE, with significant
additional potential outside the field boundaries. Anadarko is currently operating five horizontal rigs in the Wattenberg
field and two additional horizontal rigs that are evaluating liquids-rich opportunities in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. To
enhance the strategic alignment of its upstream and midstream assets in Colorado, Anadarko acquired the Wattenberg Plant in
March 2011. This acquisition, combined with Western Gas Partners, LP's (WES) acquisition of the Platte Valley Plant and WES's
ownership of the Fort Lupton Plant, along with other midstream assets, is enabling continued growth and value-enhancing opportunities
within the Wattenberg field and greater DJ Basin.
Devon Energy (DVN) - Devon Energy (DVN) Niobrara Shale - And in Niobrara, we have approximately 200,000 net acres in the Powder River Basin and 100,000 net acres in
northern part of the DJ Basin. In the Niobrara,
industry results to date have been mixed and somewhat challenged in some areas, but we are still in the early stages of evaluating
our acreage. However, we recently completed our first well in the Turner formation on our Niobrara acreage with encouraging results. After being online for 22 days, the Waterbuck
2342 had averaged 427 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In addition to the Niobrara and Turner formations, we expect to drill Cordell, Mowry and Frontier wells in our Powder River and
DJ Basin acreage this year. In total, we expect to have 35 wells drilled here by year end.
Petroleum Development Corporation (PETD) - PDC Energy PETD Niobrara play - PDC recently spud its ninth horizontal Niobrara well and is experiencing
promising results from both the core Wattenberg Field and prospect areas outside the core. Five wells have been turned to
sales. These five wells had an average 24-hour initial production ("IP") rate of 623 barrels of oil equivalent per
day (Boe/d) and an average 30-day IP rate of 412 Boe/d. These early rates are exceeding the Company's initial type curve estimate
of 290 thousand barrels of oil equivalent ("Mboe") per well for its horizontal Niobrara program. Production from
this program currently averages 76% oil and natural gas liquids and 24% natural gas. Drill times on the 4,000 foot horizontal
laterals (11,200 foot measured depth) in these areas averaged less than ten days from spud to total depth. Current well costs
are approximately $4.2 to $4.5 million per well depending on final completion design. Typical frac designs entail approximately
16 stages per horizontal well. The Company anticipates a total of 16 horizontal Niobrara wells to be spud and approximately
14 completions to be executed during 2011. PDC continues to assess its inventory of horizontal Niobrara opportunities
within the core Wattenberg Field. Based on a current assessment of potential locations, the Company has increased its projected
inventory from 125 to 350 gross locations.
Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL) - Whiting Petroleum (WLL) 2012 Niobrara Shale Update - Denver Basin: Redtail Niobrara Prospect.
The Redtail prospect targets the Niobrara "B" zone in the Denver Basin, in Weld County, Colorado. Whiting controls
97,267 gross (74,808 net) acres in the play.
We recently completed two new producers at Redtail. The Wildhorse 16-42H produced
at a daily rate of 430 BOE from the Niobrara "B" zone on April 13, 2012. The well was drilled to a total vertical
depth of 6,280 feet on a 640-acre spacing unit in the southwest portion of the Redtail prospect. Its 4,212-foot lateral was
fracture stimulated in a total of 20 stages, all using sliding sleeves. We own a 100% working interest and an 80% net revenue
interest in the Wild Horse well. Approximately two miles northeast of the Wild Horse 16-42H, the Wolf 35-2623H was completed
in the Niobrara "B" zone with an initial production rate of 426 BOE per day on January 20, 2012. The well was drilled
on a 960-acre spacing unit, and its 6,341-foot lateral was fraced in a total of 31 stages. Whiting holds a 100% working interest
and an 80% net revenue interest in the Wolf 35-2623H.
Due to these favorable drilling results, we plan to step up our
drilling activity at Redtail in the second half of 2012. Our previous eight-well drilling program has been increased to 17
wells. Of these, two were drilled in the first quarter of 2012. Utilizing recently acquired 3D seismic, we expect to drill
13 of the remaining wells along a 14-mile trend delineated by our Wildhorse 16-13H discovery well, which had an initial production
rate of 1,321 BOE per day, and our Horsetail 18-0733H, which had an initial production rate of 718 BOE per day. The remaining
two wells will be drilled to further de-risk our acreage position at Redtail. We expect to resume drilling operations at Redtail
in June 2012, and we plan to add a second rig in the third quarter of 2012.
Rex Energy REXX - Rex Energy (REXX) provides an operational update on the Niobrara Shale - Denver Julesberg (DJ — Rockies) Basin
Rex Energy has completed drilling and completion operations on the Steege #1-33H well located in Laramie County, Wyoming
and completed drilling of the Shapley #14-25H in Weld County, Colorado. Both of these wells have been determined to be non-commercial.
Due to the company's large inventory of liquids-weighted and higher-return projects within its portfolio of assets, Rex Energy
is pursuing strategic alternatives, including potential joint ventures or sales of its approximately 40,000 net acre position
in the DJ Basin. Based on recent results in the DJ Basin, the company has expensed its remaining five well bore locations,
which resulted in approximately $30.6 million in exploration expense for the third quarter. As of September 30, 2011, the
company held approximately $25.5 million of carrying costs for developed and undeveloped properties on its balance sheet.
Of this amount, approximately $23.9 million is related to undeveloped properties.
Quiksilver Resources KWK - Quicksilver Resources (KWK) Niobrara Shale Update 2012 - The company expects to drill up
to seven vertical and horizontal wells in the Sandwash Basin and to install gathering infrastructure during 2012. Quicksilver
expects to begin the drilling program later this month.
Quicksilver holds approximately 260,000 net acres across approximately
936 square miles in the Sandwash Basin of Northwest Colorado, of which the company believes approximately 210,000 net acres
are situated in the oil window and are prospective to the Niobrara and Lower Mancos formations.
Bill Barrett Corp BBG - Bill Barrett Corp BBG Niobrara Shale - Denver-Julesburg Basin, Colorado
Wattenburg and Chalk Bluffs – Current DJ net
production is approximately 1,100 Boe/d. The DJ Program was initiated through an acquisition in mid-2011. Since then, the
Company has nearly doubled production through development drilling, successful evaluation drilling, and improving production
through re-fracture stimulation of existing wells. The Company plans to add a second rig in the basin this month, and the
full year 2012 program includes approximately 28 gross/17 net operated wells, all of which will be horizontal and target the
During the first quarter of 2012, the Company initiated drilling
on its Chalk Bluffs acreage, drilling and completing two horizontal wells into the Niobrara
"B Chalk" formation. Results to date are very positive with the first and second wells having peak 24-hour initial
production ("IP") rates of 841 Boe/d and 968 Boe/d, respectively, and average 30-day rates of 417 Boe/d and 456
Boe/d, respectively (not consecutive 30 day periods as wells were put on pump). The Company currently has approximately 17,300
net undeveloped acres in the Chalk Bluffs area. It is too early to determine corresponding EURs from results to-date, yet
horizontal success in the Niobrara opens the potential for sizable expansion of the DJ Program.
At March 31, 2012, the Company had an approximate 91% working interest in production
from 220 gross wells.
Marathon Oil Corp MRO - Marathon Oil (MRO) Niobrara Shale
- In the Niobrara Shale play within the DJ Basin of southeast Wyoming and northern Colorado, the Company added a second
rig at the end of August and recently completed its first horizontal well in the play at Crow Valley (70 percent WI) in Weld
County, Colo. The well recently underwent fracture stimulation and has tested at 24-hour rates as high as 500 bpd of oil.
Production is expected to stabilize in the coming month. Marathon Oil continues to acquire seismic data and plans to drill
seven to nine gross horizontal wells in the Niobrara by year end.
Carrizo Oil & Gas CRZO - Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) Niobrara Shale 2012 - In the Niobrara, the Company plans to run one gross rig for the entire year. Ten gross wells (7.5 net) are currently
producing. The next two wells to be completed in the Niobrara will test the feasibility of reducing development spacing to
160 acres from the current 320 acre spacing. If successful, the tighter well spacing will have a material effect on the resource
potential of the Company's Niobrara leasehold which currently stands at over 58,000 acres.
PetroQuest Energy (PQ) - PetroQuest Energy PQ Niobrara Shale Update - In the Niobrara, the Company's third well, the Hester (WI–25%),
is nearing total depth and completion operations are expected to commence in the second quarter. In addition, the Company
recently spud its fourth well, the Davis (WI – 25%), and expects to reach total depth in approximately four weeks. Additionally,
the Company's first SM Energy Company operated well (WI-12.5%) has reached total depth and is expected to be completed in
the second quarter.
Voyager Oil & Gas VYOG - D-J Basin Niobrara - Voyager currently controls an interest in 44,000 net acres
in the D-J Basin Niobrara play in a joint venture with Slawson Exploration. Voyager recently participated with Slawson Exploration
in three previously announced Niobrara test wells in Weld County, Colorado. Two of the wells, Moonshine #1-36H and Outlaw
#16-11-66H experienced significant hydrocarbon shows during drilling and have delineated an additional 22 high-grade locations
to be drilled in 2011. Moonshine #1-36H produced at a peak rate of 650 barrels of oil per day and experienced stabilized production
with artificial lift. Outlaw #16-11-66H, the third test well was recently completed on January 15, 2011 and is currently being
tested and prepared for artificial lift.
Slawson Exploration has completed the construction of drilling pads for 22 additional
Niobrara drilling locations in Weld County, Colorado. Surface casing has been set on all 22 locations which increased the
term on each lease by one year. All 22 of these wells are high-grade locations and have been delineated by the Moonshine and
Outlaw wells. Based on the costs of the first three wells, Slawson expects drilling and completion costs for the next 22 wells
to be approximately $3.2 million per location, $1 million less than original AFE estimates. The next three Slawson Niobrara
wells will be drilled in succession, starting the week of January 24th. These wells are the Joker 36-9-62, Smuggler
16-10-62 and Birds of Prey 36-10-61. These wells are in direct proximity to the Moonshine and Outlaw wells.
CEO of Voyager Oil & Gas, commented, "We are excited to participate in the D-J Basin Niobrara play with Slawson Exploration.
This year we plan to begin a development stage focusing on our 22 high-graded Niobrara locations. We also plan to acquire
additional acreage in the core Niobrara prospect. The Niobrara is extremely impressive as an emerging oil resource play and
will only increase as techniques evolve."
GMX Resources (GMXR) - GMX Resources (GMXR) Niobrara Shale Update - GMXR acquired its Niobrara acreage position with specific ideas of basin flexure and maturity, and leveraging
our execution with modern seismic investigation. We now have three data points near the basin axis in our North Mustang Doty
Hill area, the Samson Defender well and the two recent well completions by Devon. Using these results with the seismic overprint
will help guide future development. We continue to believe that success in this play will require placing well laterals to
intersect open fractures in targeting the sub-members of the Niobrara Chalk. The two Devon wells will be used to calibrate
models on locations that will be drilled in areas with more intensive tectonic signatures as well as vetting future completion
• We are also noting emerging efforts of targeting the Codell-Turner interval
within the Niobrara system. That interval is more of a conventional target that while it certainly can be impacted by natural
fractures, it is a tight clastic reservoir being characterized as less erratic than the chalky members.
• We expect to receive our first set of 3D seismic from our Chugwater area of 30,817 net acres in May 2012.
Double Eagle Petroleum (DBLE) - Double Eagle Petroleum (DBLE) Niobrara Shale - Also, exploration potential exists in its Niobrara acreage in Wyoming and
Nebraska, which totals over 70,000 net acres. The Company has continued to receive information about the Niobrara well
it drilled in the fourth quarter of 2011. Based upon the preliminary results from the well logs and testing received to date,
the results are positive enough to encourage the Company to move forward with its completion plans on the well. The Company
currently has planned a vertical completion in both the gas and Niobrara oil zones. Due to wildlife stipulations, the Company
is unable to begin completion of this well prior to August 1.
Atlas Energy (ATLS) - Atlas Energy ATLS Niobrara Shale - Average net daily production for
the second quarter 2011 for the Niobrara segment was 399 thousand cubic feet equivalents per day ("mcfed").
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