Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Could This Oil Field Be the Next Bakken?
insidermonkey.com ^ | October 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm | fool.com

Posted on 10/27/2013 7:03:12 PM PDT by ckilmer

Could This Oil Field Be the Next Bakken?

Business is rockin' in the Bakken. Within the next year output is expected to surpass one million barrels per day, up from almost nothing ten years ago. Such growth has been a boon for investors as evident in the share price performance of companies like Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR), Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp (USA) (NYSE:KOG), and Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS).

But the hunt is now on for the next great American shale play. And one formation in particular just might have the potential to rival the Bakken: the Colorado Niobrara.

A spotty track record Readers may be surprised to hear Colorado listed as the next big oil play for a couple of reasons. First, the Centennial State is better known for cold beers and snow-capped mountains than drilling rigs and oil production. Second, the Niobrara has been a capital sink hole.

Source: Energy Information Administration

At EOG Resources Inc (NYSE:EOGthe Niobrara is far down on the company's priority list. President and CEO William Thomas complained about 'inconsistent results' and warned other operators to expect the same problem. Remember these guys are worth listening to as they were among the first to start drilling in the now booming Bakken and the Texas Eagle Ford fields.

Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:UPL) also came up dry in the Niobrara. Drilling results ultimately revealed that the play was not commercial and the company abandoned its exploration efforts to refocus on natural gas.

But recent drilling results suggest the play might have potential after all. It turns out the Niobrara is spotty. The difference between a successful well and a dry hole all comes down to location, and the key to investment success in the play will come down to finding the operators with the best acreage.

Today a lot of smart money is starting to move into the region. Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) CEO Charles Davidson describes the Niobrara as a 'top-tier oil play,' and his company plans to invest $1.7 billion in the formation this year. Results have been so good management has accelerated its development program, aiming to triple production within five years.

Energy giant Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC), which owns about 350,000 acres in the region with as much as 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable reserves, is also betting big on the play. The company has budgeted $1.5 billion to develope its acreage with plans to drill 150 wells this year. Even for a big company like Anadarko, those are substantial figures.

The biggest play since the Bakken All of this activity has sparked a boom in the Colorado energy industry. According to numbers provided by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation, state oil production hit a 50-year high of 48 million barrels in 2012, up 26% year over year. Early reserve estimates suggest that the play could hold an estimated 3.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent -- roughly on par with its Bakken rival. Drilling economics also compare favorably to the Bakken. According to figures provided by Noble, the average well in the Niobrara costs in the neighborhood of $4 million to $5 million to complete. That compares to about $8 million to $9 million in North Dakota. There's also sufficient transportation infrastructure to handle expansion in Colorado. That's something that can't be said further north.

All of this means operators with the best acreage are producing great returns for investors. Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) CEO James Volker claims that the company is generating a 400% return on every well it drills in the Niobrara. The company has highlighted the play as its most important expansion opportunity outside of the Bakken.

Foolish bottom line Unlike the Bakken or the Eagle Ford, the Niobrara's spotty track record means that it's still a long way from joining the ranks of America's top shale plays. But new drilling results hold promise. This is definitely a formation investors should keep their eyes on.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Colorado; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: bakken; colorado; fracking; niobrara; oil; shaleoil

1 posted on 10/27/2013 7:03:12 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ckilmer


2 posted on 10/27/2013 7:16:07 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jack Hydrazine


3 posted on 10/27/2013 7:18:19 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Jack Hydrazine

A timely dip.

Drove 2000 miles in the last week @ 80 mph in a 17mpg Suburban.

Sucked up some 3.05/gal in Alabama. Nice.


4 posted on 10/27/2013 7:20:18 PM PDT by nascarnation (Frequently wrong but rarely in doubt....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
Problem with petroleum is that it's finite. When the "awl" is all gone, then what? Space, the "final frontier" or something else? Who knows.

At least the natural gas that comes up with it (the petroleum) isn't being burned off anymore. Here in California we use that to keep us warm.

5 posted on 10/27/2013 7:28:41 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nascarnation

Bought some 291.9 in Hope Arkansas today.


6 posted on 10/27/2013 7:36:02 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain
those of us who believe in the abiotic oil theory believe it's a lot less finite than some would like you to believe. The trick is like any resource is to use it wisely.

CC

7 posted on 10/27/2013 7:37:56 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Celtic Conservative
those of us who believe in the abiotic oil theory believe it's a lot less finite than some would like you to believe. The trick is like any resource is to use it wisely. CC

FROM THE INTERNET:
Abiogenic petroleum origin is a hypothesis that was proposed as an alternative mechanism of petroleum origin. It was popular in the past, but most geologists now consider it obsolete, and favor instead the biological origin of petroleum. According to the abiogenic hypothesis, petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps dating to the formation of the Earth. Supporters of the abiogenic hypothesis suggest that a great deal more petroleum exists on Earth than commonly thought, and that petroleum may originate from carbon-bearing fluids that migrate upward from the mantle. The presence of huge amounts of methane on Saturn's moon Titan and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is cited as evidence of the formation of hydrocarbons without biology.

Celtic Conservative: I think that petroleum is MOST finite. Once it and our U.S. coal is gone, we will have a problem. The Russians will also run out of coal about the same time!

8 posted on 10/27/2013 7:48:17 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
"Mmmm... Bakken..."


9 posted on 10/27/2013 7:51:14 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jack Hydrazine

The interesting thing here is that gasoline prices are going down while oil prices per barrel are remaining relatively stable.

I like this combination because high oil prices encourage more drilling while low gasoline prices equal more money remains in the pockets of Americans.

Like everything this phenomenon is not likely to last very long.

Well we’ll see. Judging by your second chart, gasoline prices are about at their two year low. If they break below that, then there’s some real stuff going on.

Too bad this inadvertently reflects well on Obama. Its all happening despite his best efforts to kill the oil/gas industry.


10 posted on 10/27/2013 8:12:59 PM PDT by ckilmer ( e)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
The Monterey and Antelope Shales in California make the Bakken look like a small resource....when we run out of oil in the other states we will invade Cailifornistan and drill it....
11 posted on 10/27/2013 8:14:22 PM PDT by Hogblog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Problem with petroleum is that it’s finite. When the “awl” is all gone, then what? Space, the “final frontier” or something else? Who knows.

At least the natural gas that comes up with it (the petroleum) isn’t being burned off anymore. Here in California we use that to keep us warm.
...........
What few have quite realized is that since the dawn of the oil age in 1850, only about 10% of the oil in the ground has been pulled up. The fracking revolution has enabled drillers to get at another 30%-$40% of the oil.

This represents an enormous amount of oil. There will be oil and gas aplenty for at least 100 years. The USA will likely become an oil exporter withing 10 years. This is very big on many different levels.

However, big oil likely has only about 2 decades of dominance before its replaced by electricity. On the one hand electric cars will gain the upper hand. In part they’ll do so because 4th & 5th generation nuclear power plants will produce electricity for 1/4-1/10 current costs.

Natural gas is still being burned off in quantity in the baaken and eagle ford. Here’s some pictures.
http://bit.ly/1hlYxwx

That said I do know that technology is being developed and complimented which will enable drillers to use natural gas to power their equipment. And other portable liquification plants which will enable drillers to store smaller quantities of natural gas.


12 posted on 10/27/2013 8:24:29 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

When will the “awl” be gone? We been hearing “end of oil” for decades.

I’m with you on NG for motor vehicles.


13 posted on 10/27/2013 8:49:33 PM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Hogblog

The Monterey and Antelope Shales in California make the Bakken look like a small resource....when we run out of oil in the other states we will invade Cailifornistan and drill it....
.........
I’m not so certain they’ll ever be able to extract oil from those shales because earthquakes have totally fractured the oil formations.

What that means is say they go down 5k feet. Then they go lateral. They won’t be able to go more than 50 feet or so before they hit a spot where the earth has moved so the oil bearing formation has been jerked up or down by 50-200 feet.

I don’t think the current technology is good enough for the kind of fractured formations that are typical of the moneterey shales.

There are already plenty of assets deployed in california and the drillers have already have very good pictures of the ground.

But we’ll see here in the next year or two if the Monterrey shales can yield their oil. Volumes from California will likely spike.

Right now it looks like the woodford, niobrara and Permian shales are going to see some pretty sharp production spikes in the next 24 months—but not the Monterrey shales.


14 posted on 10/27/2013 9:01:42 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Celtic Conservative
If abiotic oil exists, where is it?

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/011205_no_free_pt2.shtml

15 posted on 10/27/2013 9:02:28 PM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer

Oil in Colorado? Seems I read a story about that once.


16 posted on 10/27/2013 9:08:44 PM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
However, big oil likely has only about 2 decades of dominance before its replaced by electricity. On the one hand electric cars will gain the upper hand. In part they’ll do so because 4th & 5th generation nuclear power plants will produce electricity for 1/4-1/10 current costs.

Nuclear power plants generate/produce electricity. What fuel do they use to operate?

17 posted on 10/27/2013 9:16:50 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: X-spurt
When will the “awl” be gone? We been hearing “end of oil” for decades.
I’m with you on NG for motor vehicles.

The "Empty Quarter" in Saudi Arabia may have zillions of barrels of petroleum. The area hasn't been touched yet. The Saudis WILL run out of petroleum, but not for another 200 years, by their estimate.

The "Empty Quarter" from the Internet:
The largest area covered by sand on the planet, the Empty Quarter encompasses 655, 000 sq km, an area larger than France or Texas. The breathtakingly sculpted sand dunes, for which the Empty Quarter is famous, can rise over 250m and form vast chains of longitudinal dune ridges, stretching over hundreds of kilometres, as well as individual barchan dunes. Shifted by the wind, sand dunes can move at a rate of up to 30m per year.

18 posted on 10/27/2013 9:23:07 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
What do we do when the natural gas and petroleum are gone?
Electricity is the logical answer but it is generated and those generators require fuel to run. Where will our future fuel come from?
19 posted on 10/27/2013 9:28:35 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer

Not if Obama can stop it.


20 posted on 10/27/2013 9:31:51 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Once we reach our “oil independence” and figure out the best way to use NG or electrical for crusin, the ChiComs and socialist EU can have all the fun fighting over and harvesting the Empty Quarter.


21 posted on 10/28/2013 7:38:48 AM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Nuclear power plants generate/produce electricity. What fuel do they use to operate?
..........
Thorium will likely be the big breaking story over the next decade. The US had working reactors during the 60’s but abandoned them in the early 70’s for dumb reasons. lftr Thorium reactors are not only safe but they also have virtually no radiation. They can be used to burn uranium wastes. Portable low cost versions can be made in factory and shipped to locations where there’re needed. Best of all they can produce electricity for 1/4-1/10 of current cheapest coal costs.
for more info
google lftr thorium reactors


22 posted on 10/28/2013 2:10:04 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Oil in Colorado? Seems I read a story about that once.
..........
Yeah Colorado has run out of oil several times.

But new imaging technology plus fracking and horizontal drilling is enabling them to find more oil and pull it up economically.


23 posted on 10/28/2013 3:19:53 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
Do I smell a free lunch?
I didn't think it existed.

I read a sci fi story once where humans went on and on and on with all the free lunches with everything under the sun, including the sun itself, used for fuel.

FINALLY, at the very end, when ALL, that is, ALL sources for fuel and power were 100% exhausted. Humanity was at its very end of existence.

Then,

was heard:

LET THERE BE LIGHT.

Great sci fi, innit? :o)

24 posted on 10/28/2013 4:36:42 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

Do I smell a free lunch?
I didn’t think it existed.
............
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything gets paid for. You don’t want to be mixing up theology and physics.

What you do smell is new money.

The USA has essentially been bleeding money since the 1970’s. US Oil production peaked in 1970 and in 1973 the first arab oil embargo came that jacked up the price of oil. The USA was designed for cheap energy. Expensive foreign energy has essentially sapped 500 billion annually from the US economy for 30 years.

It will take another 30 years for the USA to fully recapitalize. But yeah we’re in the very first years of that process. Bottom line. What this means is ignore the gold bugs, the doom and gloomers, and the end of the worlders. That stuff may still happen but not this time and not for reasons of a poor economy.

On top of the wild increase in USA oil production somewhere out there in the next decade or two— 4th generation nuclear reactors will cut the cost of energy. This will cause an enormous boost in the wealth of everyone. (The rich of course will get richer. But the middle class will stop shrinking and start expanding again.)

if you want to do nuclear research on your own — google the keywords +lftr +thorium +reactor


25 posted on 10/28/2013 6:14:39 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a92_1381546319&comments=1


26 posted on 10/28/2013 6:32:41 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
Liquid fluoride thorium reactor explained in 5 minutes.
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a92_1381546319&comments=1#Ku4aKX0YQ0e8fTvo.99

Amazing stuff and process.

27 posted on 10/28/2013 7:32:09 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer
This country can't keep pulling stuff from the money tree. Capital must come IN some times. Mustn't it? Or is the gubmin money tree indefatigable?
28 posted on 10/28/2013 7:35:31 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: cloudmountain

This country can’t keep pulling stuff from the money tree. Capital must come IN some times. Mustn’t it? Or is the gubmin money tree indefatigable?
.............
What added oil production does is keep money from flowing out.

The USA is adding 1 million barrels@day production in 2013 (as it did in 2011 & 2012 & will do the same for the next 4-5 years. Five years from now the USA will become a net oil exporter. That won’t reverse capital flows into the USA. That won’t happen until another great technological revolution picks up steam. That would be advanced robotics and 3d printing. These two together will return much of the industry that has gone to China—back to the USA.

Then the capital flows will come to the USA.

The government’s money printing machine would place the USA in serious do do if not for the enormous growth in oil production.

If not for the oil production growth, the dollar would go down the toilet. As it is, the dollar has been going roughly sideways since the oil boom began in 2009. That is the downward pressure on the dollar of the money printing has been met by the upward pressure on the dollar of oil production.

The US dollar has been the world’s reserve currency. This has given the USA enormous advantages. The USA can essentially borrow money at zero percent interest rates. The Chinese are working overtime to undermine the reserve status of the dollar but imho things like US oil production will thwart their efforts.

A big issue in congress that the dems have totally screwed up is offshore US corporate profits. American corporations have 1 trillion dollars sitting in offshore accounts that they can’t repatriate or invest in the USA because of the tax consequences of moving the money back into the USA. Until congress can lower the taxes to make it logical for them to repatriate their offshore capital—the money will remain abroad.


29 posted on 10/28/2013 8:46:30 PM PDT by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson