By adopting a fully integrated approach utilizing leading edge exploration and reservoir technologies with its operational expertise, Noble Energy has continued to advance its reservoir understanding resulting in increased projected recoveries. Tighter well spacing, multiple target zones, longer laterals and improved completions have increased estimated ultimate recoveries (EURs) and resulted in higher returns.
Horizontal drilling has shifted the development focus to the oil rich window (approximately 520,000 net acres) away from the legacy Wattenberg gas window (approximately 120,000 net acres). The oil rich window extends outside of the Greater Wattenberg Area (GWA) and into Northern Colorado where oil content is approximately 80 percent.
Utilizing an average of nine rigs, the Company intends to drill approximately 300 horizontal wells in the DJ Basin in 2013, of which 20 percent will be extended reach laterals. Current production is nearly 90 MBoe/d with 60 percent liquids and is expected to exit 2013 at over 110 MBoe/d.
MarcellusSince the establishment of the innovative Marcellus joint venture (JV) in September 2011, production has more than doubled to approximately 140 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d). In the current environment, Noble Energy and its partner are focused on accelerating the development of the wet gas areas while maintaining a lower level of activity in the dry gas areas. Better than forecasted well performance has resulted in normalized type curves increasing by an average of 28 percent over the acquisition type curves. This higher EUR forecast, combined with optimized field development, has increased the total resource estimate by 41 percent to 10 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe) net. Net production is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 55 percent, exceeding 800 MMcfe/d in 2017. To further improve performance, the JV is integrating sub-surface analysis with production results to optimize well placement and stimulation design. Operational tests such as tighter control of lateral well steering within the best Marcellus reservoir interval and shorter staging for hydraulic fractures are underway. Noble Energy is sharing best practices across the JV operations with a focus on continuous improvement. The JV is targeting increased reserves per well and a 20 percent reduction in well costs through these efforts.
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