Noble Energy Inc. is expanding its operations in Colorado with $8 billion in investment over the next five years.
The company is developing horizontal wells that stretch nearly two miles through the oil-rich Niobrara formation, which lies beneath a big swatch of eastern Colorado.
Houston-based Noble has expanded its holdings to 880,000 acres and is experimenting with increasing the density of wells drilled from the same pad.
“We are continuing to ramp up and invest” in the Niobrara, Chuck Davidson, Noble’s chief executive officer said in an interview. “This is a major area for us.”
The company is spending $1.3 billion in Colorado in 2012 — about a third of its capital — and plans to spend a total of $8 billion over the next five years, Davidson said.
Noble is one of three major drillers in the Colorado portion of the Niobrara. The others are Anadarko Petroleum and EOG Resources.
Noble today opened a new operations center in Greeley and plans to double the number of horizontal wells drilled this year to 175, the company said. It employs about 750 people in Colorado and uses 120 contractors with several thousands workers, Davidson said.