Piceance Niobrara gas discovery tops 1 bcf in 100 days

A Niobrara shale discovery well on production for 100 days in western Colorado’s Piceance basin has recovered more than 1 bcf of gas, the same volume as a typical well recovers from the Williams Fork formation over a 25-30-year life, said WPX Energy Inc., Tulsa.

WPX, which spudded its second Niobrara well last week, holds 180,000 net acres of leases in the basin’s Niobrara/Mancos unconventional play and intends to drill four horizontal Niobrara wells in 2013.

Initial rate was 16 MMcfd at 7,300 psi flowing pressure at the Garfield County discovery well, which averaged about 10 MMcfd in its first 90 days despite being choked substantially (OGJ Online, Jan. 23, 2013).

WPX believes that the discovery over time has the potential to more than double the company’s proved, probable, and possible reserves, which were 18 tcf at the end of 2012, said Ralph Hill, president and chief executive officer.

The company said it has extensive processing and takeaway capacity under contract in the basin to support Niobrara production.

The Niobrara and Mancos shales generally lie at depths of 10,000 to 13,000 ft and the Williams Fork at 6,000 to 9,000 ft. In the Piceance basin, WPX holds an average 66% working interest in the Niobrara and Mancos shales.

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