EOG Resources has petitioned the COGCC to vacate 90 existing 640-acre drilling and spacing units and create 45 1280 (approx) in their place. The new drilling and spacing units to be established are located in the Hereford field in Weld County. The COGCC hearing for the re designation of these drilling units will be held on November 14, 15, 16, 2012. It is interesting to note that EOG does not mention their Niobrara exploration and production ventures in their October 4th Investor presentation.
It can be easily inferred that the move to combine two 640 acre spacing units to form one 1280 drilling and spacing unit is for the purpose of drilling extended length laterals. Extended length laterals have been shown to improve oil production in some cases in the Niobrara. Extended laterals do however present a large risk due to the increased costs and geologic uncertainty over a larger area. It is clear that EOG is betting big on the success of extended reach laterals in the Hereford field.