Operators report on production losses from Colorado flooding

Independent exploration and production companies Noble Energy Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have provided updates on Colorado activity almost a month after floods inundated the state (OGJ Online, Sept. 19, 2013).

Noble, which experienced flooding in northern Colorado at its DJ basin operations, reported a total average net production loss of 2,000 boe/d for this year’s third quarter. About 70% of that amount was oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids.

Wells that were proactively shut in before the floods are in the process of being returned to production, Noble said. Only 4% of the company’s operated wells remain offline.

Drilling activities have returned to normal levels, with all rigs currently operating. Limited access to certain affected areas has resulted in delays to the firm’s completion activities. Noble said the combined impact of remaining well shut ins and delayed completion operations is expected to impact this year’s fourth quarter average volumes by 5,000-7,000 boe/d, 80% of which is expected to be liquid volumes.

Acceleration of completion activities is under way and will contribute to the elimination of the backlog by the end of first-quarter 2014, Noble said. Despite these impacts, current production levels are already in excess of preflood volumes as a result of the growth the company has experienced in the basin, it added.

Anadarko update

Last week, Anadarko reported temporary delays to its expansion of capacity in the Greater Wattenberg area caused by flooding. Those delays are expected to reduce the company’s total estimated full-year sales volumes by 2.5 million boe.

However, the company anticipates its total annual sales volumes to still be within the provided guidance of 281-287 million boe.

Last month, Anadarko reported disruptions to its drilling, completions, and construction activities caused by damaged roads, bridges, rail, and other issues that hinder the ability to move heavy equipment such as rigs and compression units.

Anadarko operates more than 5,800 wells, 2,500 storage tank facilities, and 3,200 miles of pipeline. The company shut in 675 operated vertical wells prior to and during the flooding. There were no environmental impacts related to its drilling or hydraulic fracturing activities in the area, the company said.

It stated that as conditions improve, the Wattenberg horizontal program plans to complete expansions throughout the field and drill 350-400 horizontal wells in 2014. Anadarko had 2.56 billion boe of proved reserves as of yearend 2012, making it one of the world’s largest independents.

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability cited the Colorado Oil & Gas Association as reporting on Sept. 17 almost 1,900 oil and gas wells were shut in by the flooding. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission said Sept. 19 that it had been tracking nearly a dozen oil releases in the flooded areas.

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