April 10, 2014 – ConocoPhillips Analyst Meeting
Drilling results from ConocoPhillips’ DJ Basin Niobrara operations on and around the Lowry Bombing Range have been scant to date. At their April 10th Analyst meeting some more details about their strategy, results to date, and plans going forward were released.
Conoco’s, Matt Fox, EVP, Exploration & Production and Al Hirshberg, EVP, Technology & Projects explained that the company is not driven by initial production (IP) figures but by actual production data that is reported to governments and figures from product sold at market. They believe that using a slower more scientific approach to development will deliver a better value to their shareholders.
Al Hirshberg showed in detail how their pilot testing programs using pressure monitoring, fully instrumented wells, and the logging and coring of stimulated rock volume, were being utilized to best develop the company’s acreage in unconventional North American plays.
Al Hirshberg showcased the Niobrara as a case study in the benefits of corporate knowledge transfer from their Eagleford operations. Conoco’s early exploration efforts in the Niobrara started out by employing industry standard completion techniques from the Wattenberg field. Their results were unimpressive. After employing the latest knowledge derived from their Eagleford operations, their production results have improved by over 350% as based on 5 to 6 months worth of data to date.
At the present time, the company’s Niobrara wells are averaging over 600 boe/day, 2/3 of which is oil. These impressive results came from changes to just a few key parameters in completion design. Al Hirshberg went on to say that since the Niobrara’s geology is simpler than the Permian Basin, that they should, by the end of the year, understand what the best full field development plan would be for this field.