BEFORE THE OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE PROMULGATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF FIELD RULES TO GOVERN OPERATIONS IN THE WATTENBERG FIELD, WELD COUNTY, COLORADO

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CAUSE NO. 407

 

ORDER NO. 407-407

 

 

REPORT OF COMMISSION

 

This cause came on for hearing before the Commission on May 16, 2011, in Suite 801, The Chancery Building, 1120 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado, for an order to establish an approximate 320-acre wellbore spacing unit for the N˝ of Section 24, Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M., and approve one horizontal well within the unit (to accommodate the planned Segal #1A-24H Well), for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation. 

 

FINDINGS

 

The Commission finds as follows:

 

1.     EnCana Oil and Gas (USA), Inc., (“EnCana” or “Applicant”), as applicant herein, is an interested party in the subject matter of the above‑referenced hearing.

 

2.     Due notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing has been given in all respects as required by law.

 

3.     The Commission has jurisdiction over the subject matter embraced in said Notice, and of the parties interested therein, and jurisdiction to promulgate the hereinafter prescribed order pursuant to the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.

 

4.     On December 19, 1983, the Commission issued Order No. 407-1 (amended on March 29, 2000 in accordance with Order No. 407-17, entered November 18, 1985), which among other things, established 80-acre drilling and spacing units for the production of oil and/or gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Codell Formation underlying certain lands, including Section 24, Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M., with the drilling and spacing unit to be designated by the operator drilling the first well in the quarter section, (or the Director, if the operator fails to designate).  The permitted well shall be located in the center of either 40-acre tract within the drilling and spacing unit with a tolerance of 200 feet in any direction.  The operator shall have the option to drill an additional well on the undrilled 40-acre tract in each 80-acre drilling and spacing unit.

 

5.     On February 19, 1992, the Commission issued Order No. 407-87 (amended August 20, 1993), which among other things, established 80-acre drilling and spacing units for the production of oil and/or gas from the Codell and Niobrara Formations underlying certain lands, including the N˝ of Section 34, Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M., with the permitted well locations in accordance with the provisions of Order No. 407-1.

 

6.     On April 27, 1998, the Commission adopted Rule 318A., which, among other things, allowed certain drilling locations to be utilized to drill or twin a well, deepen a well or recomplete a well and to commingle any or all of the Cretaceous Age Formations from the base of the Dakota Formation to the surface.  Pursuant to Rule 318A.j., Rule 318A. supersedes all prior Commission drilling and spacing orders affecting well location and density requirements of Greater Wattenberg Area wells.  Rule 318A.d. provides that an operator may allocate production to any drilling and spacing unit with respect to a particular Cretaceous Age Formation consistent with the provisions of Rule 318A.  The N˝ of Section 24, Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M. is subject to Rule 318A., for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

7.     On March 17, 2011, EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. (“EnCana” or “Applicant”), by its attorneys, filed with the Commission a verified application (the “Application”) for an order to establish an approximate 320-acre wellbore spacing unit for the below-listed lands (the “Application Lands”), and approve of one horizontal well within the unit (to accommodate the planned Segal #1A-24H Well), for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation, with the initial perforation, perforated lateral and terminus of the permitted well to be located no closer than 460 feet from the boundary of the unit, without exception being granted by the Director of the Commission:

                                       

Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M.

Section 24:

 

EnCana stated that this Application is not requesting the change of any established 80-acre drilling and spacing units or the established distribution of proceeds for any existing vertical Niobrara Formation wells.  EnCana will allocate and distribute proceeds from the horizontal well on a 320-acre basis.

 

8.     On May 4, 2011, EnCana, by its attorneys, filed with the Commission a written request to approve the Application based on the merits of the verified Application and the supporting exhibits as is provided for by Rule 511. Sworn written testimony and exhibits were submitted in support of the Application.

 

9.     Testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by Cynthia Owens, Land Negotiator for EnCana, showed that EnCana is the sole leasehold owner of the Application Lands.

 

10.   Testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by Stacy Tincher, Geologist for EnCana, showed that the total thickness of the Niobrara Formation underlying the entirety of the Application Lands ranges from 280 to 290 feet, and is a common source of supply.

 

11.   Testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by Patrick Ash, Reservoir Engineer for EnCana, showed that development of the Niobrara Formation underlying the Application Lands by drilling a horizontal well is prudent, and is an efficient and economical method of extraction, without wasting the reserves.  Additional testimony indicates that vertical well development of the Niobrara Formation will ultimately recover about 3% of the original gas-in-place, and that the proposed horizontal well will incrementally increase gas recovery an additional 4 to 12%.  Further testimony showed that the proposed horizontal well will yield an ultimate recovery of 4.78 BCF equivalent gas which is economically attractive to EnCana.

 

12.   The above-referenced testimony and exhibits show that granting the Application will allow more efficient reservoir drainage, will prevent waste, will assure a greater ultimate recovery of gas, and will not violate correlative rights.

 

13.   EnCana agreed to be bound by oral order of the Commission. 

 

14.   Based on the facts stated in the verified Application, having received no protests, and based on the Hearing Officer review of the Application under Rule 511., the Commission should enter an order establishing an approximate 320-acre wellbore spacing unit for the N˝ of Section 24, Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M. (to accommodate the planned Segal #1A-24H Well), and approve one horizontal well within the unit, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

ORDER

 

                        NOW, THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED, that an approximate 320-acre wellbore spacing unit is hereby established for the below-listed lands, and one horizontal well is hereby approved for the unit, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation:

 

Township 4 North, Range 66 West, 6th P.M.

Section 24:

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the initial perforation, perforated lateral and terminus of the permitted well shall be located no closer than 460 feet from the boundary of the unit, without exception being granted by the Director of the Commission.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order shall not change of any established 80-acre drilling and spacing units or the established distribution of proceeds for any existing vertical Niobrara Formation wells.  The operator shall allocate and distribute proceeds from the horizontal well on a 320-acre basis.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the provisions contained in the above order shall become effective immediately.

           

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Commission expressly reserves its right, after notice and hearing, to alter, amend or repeal any and/or all of the above orders.

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that under the State Administrative Procedure Act the Commission considers this Order to be final agency action for purposes of judicial review within 30 days after the date this Order is mailed by the Commission.

                       

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that an application for reconsideration by the Commission of this Order is not required prior to the filing for judicial review.

 

                        ENTERED this ___23rd ___ day of May, 2011, as of May 16, 2011.

 

                                                                        OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION

                                                                        OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

 

                                                                        By____________________________________       

                                                                                    Robert A. Willis, Acting Secretary

 

Dated at Suite 801

1120 Lincoln Street

Denver, Colorado 80203

May 23, 2011