Second Niobrara Shale Well Comes on at Nearly 12 MMcf/d
Initial Discovery Well Hits 2 Bcf in Cumulative Production this year
PRESS RELEASE – 10/28/13 – TULSA, Okla. – WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) successfully completed its second well in the Niobrara Shale following its significant natural gas discovery in western Colorado earlier this year.
WPX’s second Niobrara well was completed at the end of September, posting an initial rate of 11.8 million cubic feet per day at a flowing casing pressure of 5,700 pounds per square inch.
To optimize the performance of the reservoir, the well has since been choked back substantially to 8 MMcf/d at 5,400 pounds per square inch of flowing tubing pressure.
This second Niobrara well is three miles to the southeast of the initial discovery well, which first produced at a rate of 16 MMcf/d with a flowing casing pressure of 7,300 pounds per square inch.
Over its first 10 months, the initial discovery well has produced 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas and is currently producing at a rate of 3.5 MMcf/d.
The Unconventional Oil & Gas Center ranks WPX’s discovery well as the No. 1 Niobrara Shale producing well in the United States. WPX’s latest well will rank No. 2.
The second Niobrara well was drilled to a total vertical depth of 9,062 feet with a 4,883-foot horizontal lateral. Completion operations included 19 frac stages.
“We are executing on our plan to delineate our Niobrara discovery as quickly and prudently as possible,” said Ralph A. Hill, WPX president and chief executive officer. “This aligns with our strength in efficient, large-scale production to build out our long-term horizon of drilling opportunities.”
“Our second well came online even stronger than we expected. It was significantly over-pressured and is delivering another strong performance following our discovery well.
“The Niobrara formation on our acreage is at its shallowest where we drilled the second well. We believe this will coincide with the lowest reservoir pressures we’ll encounter in the play if our assumptions about the geology and pore pressures hold true over time,” Hill said.
A third Niobrara horizontal well was drilled during July and August, located approximately 2,000 feet to the west of WPX’s initial discovery well. A potential sidetrack lateral is being considered to resolve a technical issue that was experienced before completion operations commenced.
From the first Niobrara horizontal well to the third, WPX reduced drilling times by 43 percent from 92 days to 52 days. Drilling on the initial discovery well included the successful recovery of 535 feet of continuous core to assist the company’s geoscience team in better understanding the play.
Two additional Niobrara wells – a horizontal test located three miles north of the initial discovery well and one vertical delineation well located 12 miles to the east – are scheduled to be spud in November.
“These efforts are serving to prove up acreage, confirm the repeatability of the play, drive down development costs and help us determine the right well spacing and density. The Niobrara potential presents an exciting opportunity for WPX,” Hill added.
As previously announced, WPX plans to more than double its Niobrara drilling in 2014, with 10 to 12 wells expected. Combined with previous Niobrara activity, this will serve to delineate 80 percent of WPX’s Valley acreage.
WPX controls the lease rights to approximately 180,000 net acres of the Niobrara/Mancos shale play that underlies the company’s expansive leasehold position in the Piceance Basin.
Gathering and processing infrastructure is in place to accommodate additional gas volumes from the area, as is take-away capacity from the basin to deliver the gas to the market. Gas produced from the Niobrara and Mancos shales can be processed without modification to existing gas treatment facilities.
WPX plans to report its third-quarter 2013 results before the market opens on Thursday, Nov. 7. Management will provide an update on the company’s operations during a webcast starting at 10 a.m. Eastern on the same day. Participants are encouraged to access the event and the corresponding slides at www.wpxenergy.com.
About WPX Energy, Inc.
WPX Energy is an exploration and production company focused on developing its significant oil and gas reserves, particularly in the liquids-rich Piceance Basin, the Bakken and Three Forks oil shales and the Marcellus Shale. WPX also has domestic operations in the San Juan and Powder River basins, as well as a 69 percent interest in Apco Oil and Gas International. Go to http://www.wpxenergy.com/investors.aspx to join our e-mail list.