Noble, Anadarko exchange DJ basin acreage

Houston independents Noble Energy Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have closed on an acreage exchange in the greater Wattenberg area of northern Colorado, with each party contributing 50,000 net acres.

David L. Stover, Noble’s president and chief operating officer, said the consolidation of acreage in key operating areas will improve efficiency with centralized field facilities, streamlined operations, and reduced land work. He added, “The large contiguous acreage blocks will provide the opportunity to optimize drilling activities and add more extended-reach lateral wells to the program.”

Anadarko reimbursed Noble $202 million for capital spent to drill and complete wells on the conveyed acreage, partially offsetting other adjustments in determining the $105 million of cash Noble received at closing. Noble said the exchange will lower net production from recent levels by 8,000 boe/d—almost entirely related to the recently drilled wells—but it is expected to be offset by operational efficiencies and cost savings. Noble said its DJ basin volumes are still expected to increase by at least 20% in 2014.

Noble has core operations in the US onshore, primarily in the DJ basin and Marcellus shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa.

Earlier this month, Noble and Anadarko provided updates on DJ basin activity following September’s floods. After the inundation of its assets, Noble reported a total average net production loss of 2,000 boe/d for this year's third quarter, 70% of which was oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids. Anadarko said it experienced delays to its expansion of capacity in the Greater Wattenberg area caused by flooding, reducing the company's total estimated full-year sales volumes by 2.5 million boe (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2013).

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