Niobrara Production Decline Curve – Mixed Results on Sparse Data


Niobrara Decline Curve

Chart Showing Niobrara Decline Curve in the Wattenberg Field – Click to Enlarge

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Chart Showing Niobrara Decline Curve in the Wattenberg Field for a few horizontal wells drilled early in the play.

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7 Responses to Niobrara-Decline_Curve

  1. Pingback: Niobrara Decline Curve | Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights

  2. Hanna says:

    Thank you so much for your thorough answers and yes, you certainly have helped me a lot. I have not had anything to do with mineral rights, leases or oil wells and I am about as novice as you can get. It is really nice that you will take your time to give me and others a leg up on this stuff.

    Thank you again:)

  3. Hanna says:

    I meant does it matter if it is 10 acres OR 100 acres….sorry:)

  4. Hanna says:

    That fracking thing is pretty amazing isn’t it? I cannot warp my brain around the ability to set explosives 7,000 feet down. That is mind boggling.

    If you wouldn’t mind, I have another question. I’ve seen where a lot of these wells produce 200 barrels…is that a day and if so does that mean they produce 6000 barrels a month? That is one heck of a lot of oil!

    How does the number of acres in a unit affect anything if there is one well in a unit, does it matter whether it is 10 acres of 100 acres if it has a producing well on it?

    • RockPick says:


      I’d like to comment on a couple of your statements. Yes, this new fracking technology is amazing, as it allows drilling in oil source formations. This was unthinkable 10 years ago.. It takes all the risk out of the equation and the need for a geologic structure to “trap” the oil as it migrated.. Fracking technology is progressing beyond the typical setting of charges for perforating the casing before fracking, Noble Energy is now using ball and pins, to open up perforations in the casing without charges. This opens up perforations where they want and allows the fractures to occur just due to high pressure. It is much safer and more precise. So this technology is evolving.

      To address your other question, a typical Niobrara spacing unit is 1 sq mile. Typically the oil companies start with just one horizontal well in a spacing unit. If they are successful with that well, the company will drill up to 4-5 other laterals (from the same pad) in that section, with each lateral being offset a bit from the other in order to drain the section. It is conceivable that up to 4 good wells in a section could produce a prodigious amount of oil, that would be collected in a large tank battery.

      Regarding your question on figures, those figures are barrels of oil per day BOPD, and unless the well is shut in for maintenance, they will produce every day of the month. Maintenance does happen so you will not find wells that produce 365 days a year.. As far as acreage goes, oil is divided by all the owners in a spacing unit. If the spacing unit is 40 acres, then the proceeds are divided between all of them according to their personal agreements. As I said earlier, a Niobrara spacing unit is usually 640 acres, and all oil drained from that section would be divided amongst the mineral owners according to their lease agreements and their percentage ownership of the 640 acres. See the Leasing 101 page on Niobrara News on how that calculation is made.

      I hope this clarifies some of your questions.



  5. Hanna says:

    For how long will these wells produce?

    • RockPick says:


      I have had the opportunity to speak with engineers at Noble Energy and they are of the opinion that production form these wells will last from 15 to 20 years along a typical decline curve. Wells may be re-fracked to increase production once or twice during their lifetime, but as you know there is not any data to support these estimates except data from traditional vertical wells that have been completed in the formation.

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