Barrett writes down Rockies gas values, embraces liquids

Bill Barrett Corp., Denver, has built its production mix the past 2 years to 24% oil at the end of 2012, a year during which it wrote down natural gas reserves values and ceased gas drilling in two Rocky Mountain basins.

Bill Barrett said it stopped gas drilling at West Tavaputs in the Uinta basin and Gibson Gulch in the Piceance basin in Colorado in the 2012 second and third quarters, respectively, as a result of low natural gas and natural gas liquids prices and expects not to drill in either area in 2013.

A capital program of $475-525 million in 2013, 90% of which is oil-directed, includes running six rigs in the Uinta and Denver basins and includes 180 gross-100 net wells. The $963 million in 2012 capital spending included drilling 288 gross-185 net wells.

Yearend estimated proved reserves were 1.04 tcf equivalent, 29% oil and 59% developed. The reserves reflect 74% growth in proved reserves at the company’s active oil programs in the Uinta, Denver, and Powder River basins and gas drilling additions at West Tavaputs and Gibson Gulch.

Negative engineering revisions at West Tavaputs resulted from performance of 20-acre spacing on part of the company’s acreage.

January 2013 production is an estimated 220 MMcfd of gas equivalent, 22% oil, 70% gas, and 8% NGL. Total 2012 production was up 10% on the year as oil production rose 80%, and the number of drilling locations targeting oil increased to nearly 2,900 from 400.

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