Noble Energy’s budget down 40% in 2015

Noble Energy Inc., Houston, plans to spend $2.9 billion in 2015, representing a 40% reduction from 2014. The company also reported full-year 2014 net income of $1.21 billion and adjusted income of $881 million.

Noble Energy Inc., Houston, plans to spend $2.9 billion in 2015, representing a 40% reduction from 2014. The company also reported full-year 2014 net income of $1.21 billion and adjusted income of $881 million.

Sixty percent of the capital program will go toward US onshore assets, 35% for global offshore development, and 5% for global offshore exploration.

Investment in US onshore unconventional plays is planned at $1.8 billion, split evenly between the DJ basin and Marcellus shale. Noble says it will focus on increasing recovery in both areas through the application of long laterals and modified completion techniques.

The company is currently running a four-rig operated program in the DJ basin. Activity is targeted primarily in the Wells Ranch and East Pony core areas, which the company says provide the best return opportunities and optimize the use of existing infrastructure.

In the Marcellus, two operated rigs are running, with activity planned for 2015 primarily focused in the Majorsville development area. In addition, four nonoperated rigs are running in the dry gas areas.

Fifteen percent of the company’s Marcellus investment is allocated to midstream. Noble and Consol Energy Inc. last year launched a 50-50 joint venture to be named CONE Gathering LLC to own, operate, and develop the companies’ jointly owned natural gas midstream assets in the Marcellus (OGJ Online, June 12, 2014).

In the Gulf of Mexico, $600 million will be invested in the continued development of the Noble’s sanctioned Gulf of Mexico projects. Investment will be focused on subsea pipeline installation at Big Bend and Dantzler (OGJ Online, Sept. 18, 2014); and drilling and completion operations at Gunflint.

Expenditures in West Africa are primarily associated with the nonoperated Alba compression project in offshore Equatorial Guinea, which is targeted for startup in 2016. In addition, the company will be drilling the Cheetah oil prospect, offshore Cameroon, in the middle of 2015.

In Israel, the Ashdod onshore compression project is being completed in the first half of 2015, which will allow for an increase in peak deliverability into Israel. Further investments in the expansion of Tamar, as well as the initial development of Leviathan, have been suspended until regulatory issues are resolved.

Frontier exploration includes the company's initial operated prospects in the Falkland Islands, the first of which is expected to spud about midyear (OGJ Online, Oct. 10, 2014).

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