DENVER, Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDC Energy, Inc. ("PDC" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:PDCE) today announced its capital budget and production estimates for 2014. 2014 Capital Budget and Production Guidance PDC's capital budget for 2014 is approximately $647 million, including $576 million of development capital and $71 million for leasehold acquisitions, exploration and other expenditures. The 2014 capital budget is targeting organic growth within PDC's inventory of high-return, liquid-rich projects in the core Wattenberg Field and Utica Shale. PDC estimates net production volumes for 2014 will average between 9.5 million and 10 million barrels of oil equivalent ("Boe") and anticipates that its crude oil and natural gas liquids ("NGLs") will increase to approximately 60%. Production guidance includes a reduction in dry gas volumes in 2014 due to the anticipated closing of the sale of its shallow Upper Devonian assets and the suspension of drilling in its Marcellus Shale assets. The Company estimates its 2014 production exit rate to be approximately 33,000 Boe/d. 2014 Wattenberg Field Capital Overview The Company plans to invest a total of $469 million in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado, beginning 2014 with four horizontal drilling rigs and plans to add a fifth operated horizontal drilling rig in the second quarter of 2014. The Wattenberg budget for 2014 includes spudding 115 gross operated horizontal wells, with 59 horizontal Codell wells and 56 horizontal Niobrara wells. These drilling plans include 19 wells with extended length lateral completions of approximately 7,000'. The Company also plans to reinitiate its vertical well refrac program. Approximately $100 million of the total Wattenberg capital budget is allocated for non-operated projects including participation in a 26-well per section downspacing test in the Niobrara formation in the northeastern portion of the core Wattenberg Field. Results from the test will target the Niobrara B and Niobrara C benches and could further expand the Company's 3P resource potential in the Field.