Niobrara (CO & WY) - update through January 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 5932 selected horizontal wells in the Niobrara region (Colorado & Wyoming) through January.

Oil production from these wells started in 2017 at a level of 56 thousand bo/d (15%) lower than a year earlier, with gas production slightly up.

While making this post, I noticed that oil production in 2016 from Laramie county in Wyoming appears to have been revised downwards (with about 10 kbo/d) since my last post on the Niobrara. Upward revisions are quite normal, as data from new wells comes in, but downward revisions are very rare, and I don’t understand the reason behind this (the well count is not lower).

Moving to the 3rd tab (“Well quality”), you’ll notice that the oil production curves have hardly changed since 2014, although associated gas production is higher (visible if you change “Product” to gas)

The leading oil producer in this region, Anadarko, has slowed down production in the past 2 years, and is now at a level of about 20% lower than the top in May 2015, as you can see in the last tab. If you click on its name in the legend, the bottom chart shows that almost all its production comes from a very large position in Weld county (CO).

The new ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how all these horizontal wells progress towards their ultimate recovery, while declining over time. The wells are grouped by the year in which they started production.

The end of the purple curve, representing the wells that started in 2014, tells us that on average, these 1634 wells produced cumulatively just shy of 85k bo after 26 months on production. At this age, their average oil production rate has dropped to 42 bo/d. The 2015 wells are on a slightly higher track.

I plan another update on the Eagle Ford by Tuesday next week, followed with a post on the Permian.

Production data is subject to revisions.

For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission


The above presentation has many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  • Eric Koval says:

    These graphical displays are absolutely fantastic. I am a producer in Wyoming, and I believe your drop in production may be caused by curtailed production due to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issuing orders to not allow flaring of gas on certain properties/wells (stranded gas). Unlike the Texas railroad commission, the members on the WOGCC board appear to have ridden the short bus to high school having eaten paint chips as toddlers, and living under Power Lines in their formulative years…
    This is a sore subject with large hedge funds that have refused to invest money into Wyoming projects until the State and Federal regulators (ie WYDEQ, BLM EPA etc.) take a step back (or a half mile back) from regulating and requiring increased bonding and permitting fees…

    1. Enno says:


      I appreciate the feedback & the info on possible reasons behind the production drop. Thank you for commenting.


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