Calculating Barrels of Oil Equivalent (BOE) from COGCC Records

At the Niobrara News we have recently had many inquiries on how to find and use the oil well production data reported on the COGCC website. This data is freely available to the public. This data is of interest to the O&G industry as well as many different groups such as mineral owners and investors. Unfortunately an easy guide on how to use this data is not provided by the State. Luckily, we have developed a short guide for all those interested in finding wells and calculating production figures.

To start, one must first locate the records of well you wish to view. To do that you would select “Database” from the left hand column on the website to bring you to a database search tool.  For a simple search, you should enter the range of years of production, the County, the Operator, and then the ”name” of the Well in the Facility/Lease field.  Then click “Submit”. In our example below we have entered the parameters to find the famous JAKE well that ignited the Niobrara play. Our search returned data for the JAKE well for the years 2009 to 2012. (note: please try to be as specific as you can to narrow your search results down to the well you are searching for, especially in the Lease/Facility field which may have multiple well hits and may require more drilldown to find the one you are looking for.)

Screenshot COGCC Database Search - Click to enlarge

Our search results have returned production figures for one JAKE well drilled by EOG in Weld County during the years 2008-2012.  That was what we were looking for. Since we would like to calculate the Initial Production of that well for the first 30 days, we will click on the 2009 data which will bring us to a screen that shows the first production results from the well for the months of Oct – Dec, 2009.

Screenshot of COGCC Database Search - Click to enlarge

The confusing part of the monthly production data screen is that both gas, oil and water results are shown. The key is that the gas production is reported in blue text and the oil in black text. Place close attention to the legend which is above the production results.  There are two legends, one for oil and one for gas.  You will note that for gas, we have columns for production, flared, used, shrinkage sold, etc.  The only columns we are interested in are the “produced” oil and gas. Look at the blue circles showing

Screenshot of JAKE well data from COGCC - Click to enlarge

which numbers for gas we are interested in.  Likewise, the numbers for oil are highlighted in black ink.  You will note that the production for oil and gas are in different columns. That is confusing, isn’t it?

If you remember, we wanted to calculate the first 30 days of production. Production is reported to the state only by the month. Since we have only 8 days of production in October and 30 days in November, so we must choose which month we will use for our Initial Production (IP) calculation.  Since oil production declines exponentially it would be better for us to use the first 8 days of production in October than the 30 days of November production. While this is not a perfect way to calculate the first 30 days of production, it is necessary due to the reporting limitations of the COGCC data. Nevertheless, this method will get us close to the IP for the first 30 days of production.

A barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) is a unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one barrel (42 US gallons or 158.9873 litres) of crude oil.  BOE is the standard way in which production figures are reported since they take into account the oil and gas produced from a well. The trick is that we must convert gas to a barrel of oil.  One BOE is roughly equivalent to 5,800 cubic feet of natural gas or 58 CCF or 5.8 MCF. Another tip is that gas production as reported to the COGCC is in MCF or 1000 cubic feet.  So if we divide the number reported for gas production by 5.8 we will have the equivalent of barrels of oil.

Now on to our calculation:

(14156 bbl oil + (2943 MCF gas/ 5.8)) / 8 days =  1832 boe/ day IP

The official reported IP of the JAKE well was 1558 boe/d. Our 1832 boe/d number comes very close using only the first 8 days of data.

So there you have it, a quick guide to using COGCC production data!

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