Niobrara (CO & WY) - update through March 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 6268 selected horizontal wells in the Niobrara region (Colorado & Wyoming) through March.

Oil production from these wells rose sharply in March to 335 thousand barrels of oil per day. Gas production also climbed to almost 2 Bcf/d.

In the past 5 years, the average length of these horizontal wells increased by more than 50% to around 8000 feet, while completion volumes rose even faster. In the “Well quality” tab we can see the effect of those changes. Wells that started producing in 2010 did on average 70k barrels of oil after 5 years, and this now seems to have increased to over 100k.  Ignoring a tiny number of 2009 wells, you can see that for gas this increase was similar (switch “Product” to gas to see this).

Drilling activities have more than doubled in the last year, as you can see in the “Well status” tab, if you check the number of wells that were spud, and this has significantly increased the number of drilled but uncompleted wells.

The ‘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 effect of the changes in well design, as mentioned earlier, are also nicely visible here. Recent wells peak at a far higher rate, but appear to follow a similar path towards their ultimate recovery afterwards.

The 2nd tab (“Cumulative production ranking”) ranks all these wells by cumulative production. Of these 6000+ wells, 5 have produced so far more than 400 thousand barrels of oil, including 1 with over half a million barrels.

In this area is also quite some gas produced, so I recommend taking that into account when evaluating the economics of these wells.

As you can see there, and in the 3rd tab (“Well status”) map, I’ve increased my coverage of Colorado with this update, and now include all counties there. Still, it is obvious that almost all production happens in, and around, Weld county.

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.


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