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PDC Completes “Step Out”, Vitrinite Reflectance in Weld County


PDC released a Niobrara operational update at the end on the 18th with some interesting information.  I’ll post it below.

Niobrara Formation – Wattenberg Field:

  • PDC’s initial horizontal well drilled in the Krieger prospect was a 4,100′ horizontal lateral in the B-bench of the Niobrara Formation. The well was drilled in 11 days and was hydraulically fractured with 16 stages. Microseismic monitoring was utilized and the fracture treatment was deemed to be effective.
  • The 24-hour peak rate from the well was 625 Boepd, and the 30-day average production was 310 Boepd.
  • As of January 7, 2011, gas production was being sold to the market, and the well continued to flow without benefit of artificial lift.
  • PDC has budgeted a 14 well horizontal Niobrara drilling program for 2011 which should include a combination of core Wattenberg wells and Krieger prospect horizontal wells. Based on initial results from the first horizontal Krieger well, the Company plans to initiate its 2011 horizontal drilling program in the Krieger prospect. Drilling is anticipated to begin mid-February 2011.

I find the 11 day drill time to be great news.  The Niobrara in places is shallower than other liquids unconventionals such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken.  The PDC well discussed is the Rickards well.

The release does not indicate how much of the 310 BOEPD 30-day average is gas.  There was a Noble presentation from last year indicating their Wattenberg Niobrara wells are 30% liquids, vs the 90% oil cut in the northern part of Weld.  The vitrinite reflectance of the Niobrara varies significantly in Weld County thus the production stream varies as well, as indicated by the slide below.  The link to the presentation this slide came from is here.

I’ll also post a handy vitrinite cheat sheet I got from the Approach Resources Wolffork Analyst Day conference last year that helps to understand the role vitrinite reflectance has in hydrocarbon generation.  The higher the V.R., the more gassy, to an extent.

Here is a map showing the proximity of the Rickards well to other recent Niobrara activity.

We’ll keep posting Niobrara information here at this blog, as well the Drillinginfo Niobrara Unconventional Update.

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