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2013 F e B R U a R y #4-1
WPX Energy In Western Colorado
Makes Successful Niobrara Shale Discovery
Results Build Upon Previous Mancos Success
The Niobrara and Mancos shales are generally located at depths
WPX Energy's (NYSE:WPX) successful Niobrara
of 10,000 to 13,000 feet. The Williams Fork is a shallower forma-
shale discovery in western Colorado has the
tion, generally located at depths of 6,000 to 9,000 feet. In the
potential to significantly increase the company's
Piceance Basin, WPX holds an average working interest of 66
natural gas reserves and daily production in
percent in the Niobrara and Mancos shales.
ensuing years.
WPX plans to drill at least two more horizontal Niobrara wells
The discovery well produced an initial high of 16
in the Piceance Basin this year, pending permits, starting within
million cubic feet per day at a flowing pressure of
a six-mile radius of the first well. This additional work will help
7,300 pounds per square inch.
WPX evaluate how productive the formation is across the basin.
The well has since been choked back substantially
Other operators also are delineating the extent of the resource on
to optimize reservoir performance and ensure
the eastern and western margins of the basin.
maximum resource recovery. Over the past 30
"We're talking about the potential to ultimately
days, it produced at an average rate of 12 million
more than double our current 18 trillion cubic
cubic feet per day.
feet equivalent of 3P reserves,"
WPX has the lease rights to approximately 180,000
- Ralph A. Hill, president and ceo, WPX
net acres of the Niobrara/Mancos shale play that
Photo: USGS
underlies the company's expansive leasehold position in the Piceance Basin.
WPX's first Niobrara horizontal well is located on the
Substantial gathering and processing infrastructure is in place to accommo-
company's existing Piceance Valley acreage in Garfield
date additional gas volumes from the area, as is take-away capacity from the
County. It was drilled to a total vertical depth of 10,200
basin. Gas produced from the Niobrara and Mancos shales can be processed
feet with a 4,600-foot horizontal lateral.
without modification to existing gas treatment facilities.
Drilling operations commenced in August 2012 during which the company
WPX has drilled more than 4,000 wells in the Piceance Basin, mostly in the
successfully recovered 535 feet of continuous core. Completion operations,
tight sandstones of the Williams Fork formation.
including 17 frac stages, were completed in December.
"We have a large-scale position in the Piceance basin, where we are the lowest-
WPX previously drilled a vertical Niobrara test well in late 2011 that yielded
cost, most efficient producer. We know the Piceance is a world-class asset.
the impetus for drilling the first horizontal well to gain additional data
Now the results of our Niobrara well are showing that our acreage has even
about the productivity of the formation.
greater reserves potential," said Ralph A. Hill, president and chief executive
Steven G. Natali, senior vice president of exploration for WPX, commented,
officer of WPX.
"As we study what our geoscience and operations teams have achieved
"This exploratory work in the Niobrara and Mancos shales of the Piceance was
in the Niobrara and Mancos shales, we're seeing hydrocarbon saturation
a logical follow-on to our previous Mancos shale discoveries in the San Juan
across tremendous thickness in a highly over-pressurized environment.
Basin.
These shales are located directly underneath our current Williams Fork
"In the latter half of 2010, we drilled two horizontal discovery wells there that
production in the Piceance.
produced at high rates from the same reservoir that we're delineating in the
"Advances in horizontal drilling and the way that our completions engi-
Piceance. The San Juan results already added 1.3 trillion cubic feet of proved,
neers apply multi-stage fracture technology means that much of this gas can
probable and possible reserves to WPX," Hill added.
eventually be brought to the surface at an economic rate," Natali added.
"Based on the early indications from this Piceance discovery, we're talking
WHAT IS HYDRAULIC FRACTURING?
about the potential to ultimately more than double our current 18 trillion cubic
Though this technique was first used in 1947, beginning in the mid-1990s,
feet equivalent of 3P reserves," Hill said.
the industry began using a combination of horizontal  (continued pg 3 >)
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