Niobrara

Niobrara Shale Description ImageThe Niobrara shale formation is situated in northeastern Colorado and parts of adjacent Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. Primarily an oil play, it is in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, which has long been a major oil and gas province. An emerging play, the Niobrara is in its early stages and companies have been busy leasing land for future drilling. It has been compared by some to the Bakken shale formation farther to the north.

Samson Oil & Gas is one of the earliest companies to establish a position in the Niobrara, which some call the “NeoBakken.” Other operators include EOG Resources, Anadarko Petroleum, SM Energy, Noble Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Whiting Petroleum, Quicksilver Resources, MDU Resources, and Bill Barrett Corp. Chesapeake and EOG each have about 400,000 net acres in the Niobrara.

Niobrara Shale Map

Niobrara Shale News

U.S. HORIZONTAL DRILLING CONTINUES TO SPREAD

Dec 10, 1990 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Horizontal drilling is still spreading in onshore U.S. oil fields. Texaco Inc. completed a shallow well producing oil by gravity drainage through three horizontal legs about 120 apart on the La Barge platform in Wyoming. Maersk Energy Co., Houston, apparently was successful with Austin chalk horizontal drilling in Sabine County, East Texas. Another horizontal completion in Cretaceous Niobrara was reported and several other wells were drilling or staked in Silo

HORIZONTAL DRILLING STILL FANNING OUT IN U.S.

Nov 26, 1990 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Horizontal drilling is spreading rapidly in U.S. onshore basins. The Texas Railroad Commission has granted 929 horizontal well drilling permits through September 1990 since it issued the first to Exxon Co. U.S.A. for a horizontal well in Giddings field in Burleson County Aug. 1, 1984. In North Central Louisiana, OXY U.S.A. Inc., Houston, has placed on production a horizontal well producing oil from the Cruse sand member of Eocene Wilcox.

SNYDER TO ACCELERATE E&D

Nov 12, 1990 Snyder Oil Corp., Fort Worth, plans to step up its U.S. exploration and development campaign. It agreed to buy a one-half interest in more than 70,000 net undeveloped acres in Weld County, Colo., from Amoco Production Co. The purchase is to be made Simultaneously with the purchase of the other one-half interest in the acreage by privately held HS Resources Inc., San Francisco. The acreage, all held by production, lies in the area of Snyder's greatest concentration of operations. Snyder

LEO OIL SEARCH EXPANDING IN BLACK HILLS AREA

Nov 12, 1990 More Pennsylvanian Leo sandstone oil exploration is about to take place in the Black Hills uplift area of South Dakota and adjacent part of the Powder River basin in Wyoming. Western Production Co., Rapid City, S.D., has acquired Oryx Energy Co.'s properties in Fall River County, including a 60% working interest in a recent Leo oil discovery completed by Balcron Oil Co., Billings, Mont. Western assigned some of the acreage to Balcron and retained about 9,000 net acres and 100 line miles of

U.S. BRIEFS

Nov 5, 1990 HYGRADE 42 barge spilled about 3,900 bbl of kerosine into the Hudson River near Marlboro, N.Y., about 60 miles north of New York City after striking an underwater reef. The barge, owned by Hygrade Operators, New York, was heading north to Rensselaer, N.Y., carrying about 30,000 bbl. Coast Guard crews reportedly contained the spill, although a sheen was spotted at a water treatment plant in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 5 miles north of the grounding site.

MORE HORIZONTAL DRILLING UNDER WAY IN U.S.

Oct 29, 1990 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Operators continue to chalk up successes--as well as some mixed results--with horizontal drilling in a variety of U.S. regions. The South claims a large share of such activity (OGJ, Oct. 22, p. 36). Here are samples of what's happening in Michigan, the Rockies, and Oklahoma: PetroStar Energy, Traverse City, Mich., tried Michigan's first deep basin horizontal hole at 1-16 Riverside in Missaukee County earlier this year.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES SEEN FOR INDEPENDENTS

Oct 22, 1990 Glenn A. Adams Wolverine Exploration Co. Ft. Worth The collapse of gas and oil prices in the mid-1980s significantly reduced the number of independent exploration companies. At the same time, a fundamental shift occurred among major oil companies as they allocated their exploration budgets toward international operations and made major production purchases. Several large independents also embraced a philosophy of budget supplementation through joint venture partnership arrangements.

U.S. OIL FLOW HIKE UNLIKELY OUTSIDE W. COAST

Oct 15, 1990 There is little chance major producing states or offshore areas outside the West Coast can hike U.S. oil flow significantly within 1 year. Prospects of increased oil production in states outside the West Coast aren't much improved for the 5 year outlook, either. Those outlooks are likely even if oil prices remain high as a result of an oil supply shortfall or continuing tensions stemming from the crisis that has followed Iraq's blitz of Kuwait.

SILO AREA, WYOMING: DIFFERENTIAL COMPACTION FRACTURING CAN SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT PRODUCTION

Oct 15, 1990 Gilbert Thomas Thomas & Associates Denver With the advent of horizontal drilling, fractured shale and chalk reservoirs have become important targets in the search for oil and gas deposits. Equally important in the search has been the corollary question of just where in the fractured reservoir do the most fractures occur? While reservoir fracturing is generally thought to be either the result of mechanical stress (tectonic) or hydrostatic stress, another cause of fracturing not generally

WESTERN U.S. PIPELINES-1 TWO SYSTEMS WILL CHANGE PATTERNS FOR REGION'S GAS MOVEMENT

Oct 1, 1990 Warren R. True Pipeline/Gas Processing Editor Gas-movement patterns for the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains are in the middle of historic changes. Last month, Questar Pipeline Co. commissioned its north-south crossover. In July, Questar Pipeline and two partners proposed the TransColorado pipeline, also oriented north and south. This latter is specifically intended to move curtailed volumes of western Colorado gas south to Blanco, N.M.

HORIZONTAL WELLS-1 HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR HORIZONTAL DRILLING BECOMING REALITY

Sep 24, 1990 William J. Lang, Marion B. Jett Baker Hughes Inc. Houston Spawned by technological developments of the late 1980s, horizontal drilling has become a separate growth industry with its own set of economic and technical variables. The current and potential future activity levels for this rapidly expanding technology are analyzed in this first of a series of eight articles. In coming issues, the series will discuss the latest tools, and procedures for drilling and completing horizontal wells.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Sep 10, 1990 Analysts are dusting off their crystal balls to devise a range of oil price scenarios for the Middle East crisis as the standoff between Iraq and the rest of the world continues. In Shearson Lehman's view, all scenarios lead to one result: There is little chance of a return to second quarter low oil prices and a greater chance of a $24/bbl floor for WTI in 1991. Prudential Bache, however, puts spot WTI at $21.10/bbl for 1990 and $22.25/bbl for 1991, reflecting gradual settlement of the

AUSTIN CHALK PLAY KEEPS SETTING LIVELY PACE

Aug 13, 1990 Horizontal drilling continues to pay off for operators in the Cretaceous Austin chalk trend, which stretches across much of South Texas. In the latest developments: Clayton W. Williams Jr. Inc., Midland, Tex., completed its 17th horizontal well in Pearsall field of Frio County and its fourth in Giddings field of Burleson County. Having acquired more than 120,000 net acres in the Pearsall field area, the company plans to drill 107 more wells through 1991. It operates five rigs in the field and

HORIZONTAL WELLS BOOST SOUTH TEXAS OIL FLOW

Jul 16, 1990 Oil production from Cretaceous Austin chalk horizontal wells in a South Texas field is 100 times greater than it was 1 1/2 years ago, officials of Oryx Energy Co., Dallas, have told the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC). Oryx said this increased production supports its position that temporary field rules on horizontal drilling in Pearsall field should be made permanent. TRC conducted hearings last week on the temporary rule providing a four-fold increase in horizontal well allowables, to 1,312

ORYX TO STEP UP HORIZONTAL DRILLING CAMPAIGN

Jun 25, 1990 Oryx Energy Co., Dallas, at or near the top among U.S. operators committed to horizontal drilling, is expanding its operations in the Cretaceous Austin chalk trend of South Texas. Industry is harvesting big oil flows in the trend with horizontal wellbores. In its latest move, Oryx has taken a farmout from Snyder Oil Corp., Fort Worth, covering 38,500 net acres and involving a horizontal drilling project in the trend. Oryx can earn half of Snyder's interest in the acreage by paying certain
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