FOCUS: UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS — Anadarko, Noble upbeat on Niobrara resource potential

Two key operators in the emerging Niobrara play were among a handful of oil companies recently touting the Niobrara's resource potential in Wattenberg field in the Denver-Julesburg basin during first-quarter earnings conference calls. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. are focused on producing liquids from the Niobrara shale (see map, OGJ, Sept. 5, 2011, p. 28). By one estimate, the Niobrara already produced more than 700 bcf of gas in the earliest drilling, said Vince Matthews, Colorado state geologist. Operators have yet to determine how much oil might be recovered. "Although oil production from the Niobrara strata began early in the 20th century, the new oil wells in C...

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