Central US briefs

May 1, 2013

Piceance discovery well comes on strong for Niobrara

WPX Energy has reported that its Niobrara shale discovery well in the Piceance basin has produced more than 1 bcf of natural gas in just over 100 days of operation. The well initially produced 16 MMcfd at a flowing pressure of 7,300 psi, and it registered an average production of almost 10 MMcfd through its first 90 days. According to its press release, the company expects the Niobrara well to produce in just 4 months what a typical Williams Fork well produces in its estimated 25- to 30-year life cycle. The well is located in western Colorado, where the company holds lease rights to 180,000 net acres in the Niobrara and Mancos shale plays. The company plans to drill a total of four horizontal wells in 2013.

Woodford asset changes hands

BNK Petroleum Inc. has closed on the sale of its Woodford acreage, which was purchased by XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. The sale was structured to preserve the company's rights in the relatively undeveloped Caney and Upper Sycamore formation, and transferred ownership of the remaining portions of Tishomingo field, Okla., to XTO for US $147.5 million. At the time of publication, BNK was drilling its next Caney well, the Barnes 6-3H, with 3,400 ft of lateral left to drill, the company said.

Economic impact study to shed light on Cline shale development

On the heels of its similar study focusing on the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has announced the development of a new study looking at the Cline shale (also known as the Lower Wolfcamp). The formation covers a large swath on the eastern shelf of the Permian basin, in the west-central part of the state. The 70-mile wide formation runs about 140 miles north to south through Howard, Glasscock, Reagan, and Sterling counties. Still in its early phase of development, the UTSA study will investigate the economic impact for 16 Texas counties, most likely to see activity from exploration and production. The Brown County Economic Development Corp. recently voted to contribute $5,000 toward the study. UTSA has announced that its work will be completed in about 24 weeks at a cost of $56,000. The West Central Texas and Concho Valley Workforce Solutions boards and the Texas Workforce Commission have contracted with UTSA to complete the study. Active companies working in the Cline include Devon Energy, Chesapeake, Firewheel Energy, Apache Energy, Laredo Petroleum, Exco, Callon Petroleum, Pioneer Resources, and others. Devon Energy's exploration efforts in the region place early estimates for recoverable reserves in the Cline at 30 Bbbl of oil.