American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 66

SpecialReport: Horizontal & Innovative Drilling

Lateral Lengths Growing In DJ Basin
By Al Pickett
Special Correspondent
Like the proverbial cat, the DenverJulesburg Basin in northern Colorado
continues to spring back to vitality, no matter how many times it would appear to
have passed its peak.
"There are more than 20,000 vertical
wells in the DJ Basin," marvels Bart
Brookman, president and chief executive
officer of Denver-based PDC Energy Inc.
"There are more than 1,800 horizontal
wells in the core Wattenberg Field alone.
I have worked in this basin since 1988, and
I am stunned how many times the DJ Basin
has come back to life. We are delivering
more value today than ever."
PDC Energy is the third biggest operator and the basin's most active driller at
present, operating four Ensign automated
drilling rigs, according to Brookman.
The company has about 2,200 legacy
vertical wells and more than 400 horizontal wells in the Wattenberg in Weld County, Co.
Brookman, who says PDC Energy is
continuing to drill longer laterals, says the
company expects to spud approximately
135 wells in the Wattenberg Field this year,
of which 32 percent will be standard-reach
laterals (4,200 feet), 36 percent are

midreach laterals (6,900 feet), and-for the
first time-32 percent are extended-reach
laterals (more than 9,500 feet), which he
says the company refers to as its "two-milers."
PDC also plans to turn about 160
wells on line in the Wattenberg this year,
of which 50 percent are standard-reach laterals, 40 percent are midreach laterals, and
10 percent are extended-reach. "We drilled
standard-reach laterals exclusively until last
year," Brookman comments. "But as we
advanced our drilling and completion
techniques, we started drilling longer. Of
course, that means less surface impact."
Brookman adds that the number of
wells spudded and turned on line is expected to be adjusted as a result of its acreage
trade with Noble Energy.
He adds that PDC's overall production
this year is expected to average 41 percent
oil, 39 percent natural gas, and 21 percent
natural gas liquids.
"At year-end 2015, we listed an inventory of 2,150 proven and probable locations in the Wattenberg, based on 20
wells a section (16 Niobrara and four
Codell)," he continues. "We are testing 2226 wells a section, and that number does-

A PDC Energy rig drills on a 16-well pad near Gilcrest, Co. PDC is developing the Niobrara and Codell formations in the Denver-Julesburg Basin's Wattenberg Field, using
4- to 10-well pads to drill 22-26 wells per section. The company anticipates spudding
135 wells and placing 160 wells on line in the Wattenberg this year.

66 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

n't depend on the length of the laterals. We
are drilling 4-10 wells a pad, depending
on spacing and land configuration."
Average lateral length of PDC's 2,150
locations is 4,700 feet, which reflects a
combination of its standard- and midreach
laterals.
Maintaining Profitability
Historically, gas-processing capacity
has been a concern in the Wattenberg, but
Brookman says that is less of a problem.
"We have sufficient processing and gathering, helped by the downturn in drilling,"
he relates. "DCP Midstream is our primary
gatherer. Our oil take-away capacity is
more than sufficient. We have multiple
markets for our crude oil, for which we expect a realized wellhead price of about a
$6.50 gathering and transportation differential from the New York Mercantile Exchange price."
Despite the reduced price of crude oil
and natural gas the past 18 plus months,
Brookman says the Wattenberg wells are
profitable. "Well costs have come down
about 40 percent and reserves have gone
up," he points out. "We estimate we are receiving a 30-60 percent return on our
drilling and completion costs."
He says PDC Energy has done a number of things to lower costs and improve
efficiency. For example, 100 percent of the
wells it plans to drill this year will utilize
plug-and-perf completions instead of sliding sleeves.
"It costs about $100,000 more on a standard-reach lateral, but we are seeing a 1020 percent uptick in production and reserves using plug-and-perf," Brookman emphasizes. "It is more efficient, and we have
it down to more of a routine. Some of the
mechanical risks that used to be associated with plug-and-perf have gone away."
Other improvements, he says, include
using monobore drilling, which eliminates
a casing string and has helped cut drilling
time by 50 percent over the past two years.
The company also is testing fluid designs (slickwater versus gels or hybrids),
and is doing some well-orientation studies in parts of the Wattenberg (east-west



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 6
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 7
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 8
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 9
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 10
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 11
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 12
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 13
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 14
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 15
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 16
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 17
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 18
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 19
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 20
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 21
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 22
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 23
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 24
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 25
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 26
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 27
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 28
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 29
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 30
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 31
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 32
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 33
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 34
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 35
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 36
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 37
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 38
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 39
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 40
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 41
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 42
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 43
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 44
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 45
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 46
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 47
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 48
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 49
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 50
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 51
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 52
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 53
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 54
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 55
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 56
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 57
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 58
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 59
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 60
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 61
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 62
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 63
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 64
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 65
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 66
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 67
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 68
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 69
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 70
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 71
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 72
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 73
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 74
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 75
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 76
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 77
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 78
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 79
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 80
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 81
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 82
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 83
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 84
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 85
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 86
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 87
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 88
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 89
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 90
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 91
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 92
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 93
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 94
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 95
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 96
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 97
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 98
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 99
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 100
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 101
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 102
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 103
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 104
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 105
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 106
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 107
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 108
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 109
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 110
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 111
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 112
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 113
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 114
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 115
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 116
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 117
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 118
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 119
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 120
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 121
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 122
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 123
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 124
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 125
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 126
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 127
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 128
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 129
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 130
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover3
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/202001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios2016_programguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios2014_programguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/2012_pbios
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/demo/aogr_clone
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201112
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com