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ExxonMobil expands Piceance gas-gathering facilities

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Produciton Editor

HOUSTON, June 26 -- ExxonMobil Production Co. recently completed new field facilities in its Piceance basin operations in Colorado’s Rio Blanco County.

The expansion added 200 MMcfd of gas processing capacity and includes gas and liquid gathering systems, treating facilities, a produced-water pipeline and subsurface disposal system, and a condensate sales and truck-loading site.

Enterprise Products Partners LP constructed new plant and pipeline facilities at the Piceance project to provide compression, treating and conditioning services for the produced gas, which is delivered to various pipeline transmission systems that serve the region.

In the basin, ExxonMobil currently has seven drilling rigs running and produces 100 MMcfd, mostly from the Mesaverde formation.

ExxonMobil says its leases in the Piceance basin hold a potential recoverable resource of 45 tcf. The company describes the resource as "trapped within rock as dense as concrete and in discontinuous zones separated by thin layers of shale." The resource lies at depths of up to 16,000 ft.

The company has interest in about 300,000 acres in the basin, with about 90% on federal land, 5% on state land, and 5% on private or fee land. ExxonMobil says it and predessesor companies have produced gas in the basin for nearly 50 years, with the Piceance Creek Unit being formed in 1940 and continuous production starting in the 1950s.

It notes that initial development in 2005 increased field processing capacity to 55 MMcfd and it received US Bureau of Land Management regulatory approval for the current expansion in April 2007. Its long-term goal is that with subsequent expansion phases, if approved, production may reach a peak of 1 bcfd.

In completing up to 50 gas-bearing zones in one well, ExxonMobil uses its proprietory fast-drill process and multizone stimulation technology with just-in-time perforation.

The company reduces surface disturbance by drilling up to 9-10 wells from a single pad, with each well draining about 20 acres of the reservoir.

ExxonMobil also says by using produced water and recovering water from other processes for reuse it has reduced fresh water needs in its opeations by 80%.

Contact Guntis Moritis at

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