Barrett pursues gas agenda in Rocky Mountains

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 2 -- Bill Barrett Corp., Denver, set its 2005 capital budget at $276 million, emphasizing activity in the Wind River, Piceance, and Uinta basins.

The company was formed 3 years ago and capitalized in December 2004 (OGJ Online, Dec. 17, 2004). It has projects in 9 basins in 9 Rocky Mountain states.

Barrett reported yearend 2004 proved reserves of 257.8 bcf of gas and 5.7 million bbl of oil. It acquired $347 million acquiring oil and gas properties in 2004 and drilled 285 wells, 95% successful. Production in 2004 totaled 31.7 bcfe, including 8.1 bcfe in the fourth quarter.

Wind River basin 2005 spending is $55 million for 26 gross wells and 5 recompletions. The company is nearing TD at a 16,000 ft test of Cretaceous Lance east of Madden gas field in an area called Hitchcock Draw. The 2005 program calls for another Lance well and three wells to Cretaceous Fort Union. Barrett is testing Lance and Fort Union on the Talon prospect southwest of Madden field.

The Wind River basin generated 45% of Barrett's December 2004 production and held 28% of its yearend reserves.

The company budgeted $20 million to drill 218 gross coalbed methane wells in the Powder River basin, where it drilled 206 wells last year. The basin generated 23% of December production and held nearly 14% of yearend reserves.

The $66 million Uinta budget includes 23 gross wells, 6 recompletions, and 21 sq miles of 3D seismic surveys. Much of the spending will be in the Nine Mile Canyon area south of Brundage Canyon oil and gas field on 17 gross wells, 6 recompletions, and a gas gathering system upgrade.

Uinta exploration will include 1-2 deep test wells at Nine Mile Canyon, another well at the Tumbleweed Unit, two wells in Cedar Camp, and three wells in Lake Canyon.

The Piceance basin Gibson Gulch properties, acquired for $138 million in September 2004, contain 30% of Barrett's yearend reserves. The 2004 plan is $120 million for 95 gross wells and 12 recompletions. Halving spacing to 10 acres/well is under study and could allow for more than 1,000 more locations on the existing acreage.

The 2005 Williston basin budget is $9.2 million for 6 gross wells and 1 recompletion.

Barrett is participating in a Cretaceous Niobrara shale exploration program in the Denver-Julesburg basin, where it plans 420 line miles of 2D seismic and 180 sq miles of 3D seismic this year (OGJ Online, Jan. 31, 2005).

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