Niobrara Shale in the US - Oil Shale Market Analysis and Forecasts to 2020

Postive Well Results From Initial Wells Have Led to Increased Investment in Niobrara Shale Play

Online PR News – 21-December-2010 – – The strong results from the initial wells drilled in the Niobrara shale play, especially Noble Energy’s Gemini and EOG Resources’ Jake 2-01H, have proved initial potential of the play. This has encouraged a number of companies to acquire acreages in the areas prospective for Niobrara shale.

The increased interest of the companies in the shale play is evident from the recent lease sale rounds held by the Wyoming State Lands and Investments Board for area expected to be prospective for Niobrara shale. The overall investments in the state lease sale awards increased from an average of $3.2m in 2008-2009 rounds to an average of $37.5m in 2010 lease rounds. The federal lease rounds have also attracted considerable investment.

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With a large number of companies starting their initial exploration programs in the Niobrara shale in 2011, the shale play would witness a significant increase in drilling activities over the next few years. Marathon Oil plans to start an exploratory program in the shale play in 2011. Whiting Petroleum and MDU Resources plan to drill their first test well in Niobrara during the first half of 2011. Continental Resources plans to drill its first well in the shale in December 2010, with further wells in the second quarter 2011.

In Wyoming, as per Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission, 202 horizontal well permits targeting Niobrara formation had been issued in the state as of November 24, 2010. In Colorado, during 2009–September 2010, there were 208 approved permits for Niobrara shale formation.

The continued difference between international crude oil and natural gas prices has forced companies to look towards liquid rich plays like Eagle Ford shale and Niobrara shale. Also, the success of the companies in using horizontal drilling in Bakken shale play has proved that these liquid shale plays can earn much better overall economics (especially in the current price environment) with the new technological advancements in terms of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

GlobalData’s new report “Niobrara Shale in the US - Oil Shale Market Analysis and Forecasts to 2020” analyzes the recent activities in the Niobrara shale play. The report details the operational activities in the play analyzing drilling activities, cost trends, initial production rates and expected well decline curves. The report also provides information on production trends in the Niobrara shale play with forecasts to 2020. It analyzes the competitive landscape of the Niobrara shale, detailing operations of the major companies. It also details the merger and acquisition activities in the shale play from January to November 2010.

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