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Noble Niobrara Program: Wattenberg


Noble has 391,000 net acres in Wattenberg field in SW Weld County, Colorado.  Wattenberg has been producing since the 1970’s, but the Niobrara was not a focus until 2004/2005.  Since then Noble has been drilling vertical Niobrara wells at 32 and now 20 acre spacing.  They predict 10 acre drainage and are basing a significant part of their drilling program on this assumption.

Below is a slide from their June 3rd Analyst Day presentation where they highlight potential horizontal wells drilled in a mature vertically developed section.  They say that they can drill through the vertical wells and hit virgin rock because the vertical wells are only draining 10 acres.

The well shown in the New Opportunity box of that slide is the Gemini.  Noble drilled 4 horizontal test wells at the time of this presentation and the Gemini was not only the best of the four, but potentially the best in the field’s history.  The EUR is 500 MBoe.

Here is a slide showing production curves for the Gemini, average vertical wells, and an average of the first four horizontal Niobrara wells.  Noble made it a point to talk about the order of magnitude increase in productivity of vertical to horizontal wells.  There is a 10 fold jump in IPs from, 59 BOEPD to 585 BOEPD, and a 10 fold increase in NPV.  ROR doubles from 35% to 64%.

This last slide shows economics for the current range of EUR projections of the first four horizontal wells drilled.  EURs range from 150-500 Mboe.  The max 500 Mboe represents the Gemini, with RORs up well over 100%.  Well costs are $3-$4 million, with 16-stage frac jobs.

The Wattenberg Niobrara potential is only half the story for Noble.  They also have 360,000 net acres in the Central DJ Basin Niobrara.

Check the Niobrara Unconventional Update for all things Niobrara.

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Justin Birmingham

Justin Birmingham is a Research Analyst at Drillinginfo. He creates proprietary research studies, works with statistical models and manages datasets for the DI Analytics team. Justin earned his Bachelor of Science from Texas State University – San Marcos.