Niobrara (CO & WY) - update through January 2018

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data through January, from all 7,437 horizontal wells that started production in the Niobrara region (Colorado & Wyoming) since 2009/2010.

After the almost 50% increase in oil production in 2017, based on preliminary data output in January came in a little lower than in the previous month, probably due to lower completion numbers in winter months. As you can see from the light blue color in the above graph, oil production from wells that started in 2017 contributed ~2/3rd of production in January.

If you look at these two states separately, e.g. by using the ‘Basin’ selection, you can see that recent growth in Colorado has been far stronger than in Wyoming, and production in the latter one has not yet recovered to its previous peak.

In the ‘Well quality’ tab the production profiles are shown for all these wells. You’ll note that the general behavior of these wells appears rather predictable, all the way down to low production rates (< 20 bo/d). Wells that started in 2017 had a significant increase in early recovery: roughly 90 thousand barrels of oil will be recovered on average in the first year by a well that started production in 2017, whereas the typical 2016 well needs an extra year to get there.

This increase in performance has led to a spurt of drilling and completion activity: if you look at the number of wells that are spud in the ‘Well status’ overview you can see that recent levels are twice as high as the low point two years ago.

The last tab (‘Top operators’) shows that the two leading operators, Anadarko & Noble Energy are both producing near all-time highs.


The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



In this “Ultimate Recovery” graph, the average cumulative production of all these horizontal wells is plotted against the production rate. Wells are grouped by the quarter in which production started.

The sudden jump in early-life performance since the 4th quarter of 2016 is visible here. Less oil is recovered per well than in the other oily basins, but wells are shallower (i.e. cheaper) and also produce a significant amount of gas with it.

The last two dashboards show that the gas/oil ratio (GOR), and the water/oil ratio (WOR) have on average not changed significantly in this basin over the last couple of years. But how the GOR develops over the life of a well has changed, as the top graph shows in the ‘Gas oil ratio’ dashboard. Since 2014 the rise in GOR continues longer for newer wells.

On Thursday I will have a new update on the Eagle Ford, followed by the Permian early next week.

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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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