WPX hits major natural gas resevoir in western Colorado
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1/23/13 at 3:42 AM
Local companies are major players
in a vital industry.
Exploratory drilling in western Colorado by Tulsa-based WPX has hit a natural gas reservoir that could significantly increase the reserves and production for years to come, the company reported Tuesday.
WPX Energy's discovery well in the Niobrara Shale portion of the Piceance Basin has yielded an average rate of 12 million cubic feet in natural gas per day over the past month, the company said in a statement. The well was choked back after producing an initial high of 16 million cubic feet per day at a flowing pressure of 7,300 pounds per square inch.
"We know the Piceance is a world-class asset," WPX Energy Inc. CEO Ralph Hill said in the statement. "Now the results of our Niobrara well are showing that our acreage has even greater reserves potential."
Based on early indications from the Niobrara well, WPX may be able to more than double its combined 3P reserves - proved, probable and possible - of currently 18 trillion cubic feet equivalent, Hill said.
WPX has drilled more than 4,000 wells in the Piceance Basin. The Niobrara discovery was drilled to a vertical depth of 10,200 feet with a 4,600-foot horizontal lateral, according to the company's release.
Drilling commenced in August, and completion work, including 17 hydraulic fracturing stages, was finished by December.
WPX says it plans to drill at least two more horizontal Niobrara wells in the Piceance Basin this year, starting within a six-mile radius of the first well. The company has lease rights to approximately 180,000 net acres of the Niobrara and Mancos shale plays in the Piceance.
"As we study what our geoscience and operations teams have achieved in the Niobrara and Mancos shales, we're seeing hydrocarbon saturation across tremendous thickness in a highly over-pressurized environment," said Steven G. Natali, senior vice president for exploration at WPX. "These shales are located directly underneath our current Williams Fork production in the Piceance."
WPX Energy overall has drilling operations in the Piceance, San Juan and Powder River basins of the western U.S., as well as the Bakken and Marcellus shales in the Northern Plains and Northeast, respectively. The company holds stakes in more than 7,400 wells on 938,000 acres.
Original Print Headline: WPX gas well looks like winner
Rod Walton 918-581-8457
CEO Ralph Hill: "We know the Piceance is a world-class asset" for WPX Energy.