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Northern Denver-Julesburg Basin Production Trends

Abridged Abstract

The authors use multivariate statistics to highlight best practices in the drilling of Codell and Niobrara reservoirs of the northern Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in southeastern Wyoming. The conclusions in this paper differ from a 2017 report by the Wyoming State Geological Survey on the same topic and illustrate why simple crossplots are not sufficient to properly analyze plays where a number of variables must be addressed and weighed simultaneously.

For the Codell, this study reveals that the attributes of Proppant Volume, Horizontal Length, Gas-Oil Ratio (GOR), and Treatment Rate have the greatest influence on 6-, 12-, and 18-month cumulative oil production. By examining the individual attribute responses, the current best design in the Codell is a lateral length of at least 9,600 feet (ft), a job size of 12 million (MM) lbs, a treatment rate of at least 40 barrels per minute (bpm), and a GOR of 570 standard cubic feet per barrel (scf/bbl). The type curves from decline curve analysis provided predictive monthly production. The best EURs were obtained with the optimized design and yielded better overall economics when entered into the economic model.

For the Niobrara, a 9MM lb job size with a lateral length of 10,000 ft, a GOR of 900 scf/bbl, and a treatment rate between 40 and 45 bpm is optimal. Due to lack of available pricing data and the inability to generate valid type curves of production, an economic analysis could not be conducted for the Niobrara.

EORI Efforts

The EORI is committed to refining and continuing this effort in the Northern DJ Basin and in other basins throughout the state. Additional data gathered through operator engagement will be highly beneficial to the analyses. Please reach out to the EORI (www.eoriwyoming.org) with any questions, suggestions, or willingness to share data. Specialized analyses can be conducted to include proprietary data on a case-by-case basis.