Southwestern Energy to acquire Niobrara acreage for liquids-rich play

Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, has agreed to purchase 312,000 net acres in northwest Colorado targeting oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas in the Niobrara shale play, the company reported. Southwestern will acquire the land from Quicksilver Resources Inc. and Swepi LP, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, for $180 million.

“This acreage covers a substantial area in the Sand Wash basin,” said Steve Mueller, Southwestern president and chief executive officer. “Basin characteristics include proven oil production with minimal water cut, preferred fluid-phase windows, demonstrated overpressure, evidence of matrix permeability and porosity, a continuous reservoir with ample storage capacity, and potential upside from downspacing and stacked reservoir benches.”

The sale is expected to close in this year’s second quarter. The company expects to begin drilling as early as June.

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