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

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF EOG RESOURCES, INC., FOR AN ORDER ESTABLISHING AN APPROXIMATE 1,240-ACRE EXPLORATORY DRILLING UNIT FOR SECTIONS 24 AND 25, TOWNSHIP 12 NORTH, RANGE 63 WEST, 6TH P.M., FOR HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL WELL DEVELOPMENT, AND WELL LOCATION RULES FOR THE NIOBRARA FORMATION, HEREFORD FIELD, WELD COUNTY, COLORADO

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CAUSE NO. 421

 

DOCKET NO. 1211-SP-109

 

ORDER NO.  421-21

 

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION

 

            The Commission heard this matter on January 7, 2013, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, Colorado, upon application for an order to vacate two approximate 640-acre drilling and spacing units established by Order 421-3 for Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M., and establish an approximate 1240-acre stand-up exploratory drilling and spacing unit for Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M., and approve up to ten wells within the unit, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

FINDINGS

 

The Commission finds as follows:

 

1.            EOG Resources, Inc. (“EOG” or “Applicant’), 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 October 21, 2010, the Commission entered Order No. 421-3 which, among other things, established 83 approximate 640-acre drilling and spacing units, and approved one horizontal well within each unit, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.  Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 62 West, 6th P.M. are subject to this Order for the Niobrara Formation.

 

5.            On September 17, 2012, EOG, by its attorneys, filed with the Commission pursuant to § 34-60-116 C.R.S.,  a verified application (“Application”) for an order to vacate two approximate 640-acre drilling and spacing units established by Order No. 421-3 for the below-described lands (“Application Lands”), for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation; and establish an approximate 1,240-acre stand-up exploratory drilling and spacing unit consisting of the Application Lands, for horizontal and vertical well development, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation, and that any wells drilled under the Application should be drilled from a new, common or existing well pad, with not more than one well pad per quarter quarter section, with the bottomhole locations not less than 600 feet from the boundary of the proposed drilling unit and not less than 460 feet from any other well or treated interval of a well producing from the Niobrara Formation, without exception being granted by the Director:

 

Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M.

Section 24:

All (that portion which lies in Colorado, approximately 625-acres, more or less)

Section 25:

All

 

6.            On November 9, 2012, EOG, by its attorneys, filed with the Commission a written request to approve the Application based on its merits of the verified application and the supporting exhibits.  Sworn written testimony and exhibits were submitted in support of the Application.

 

7.            Land testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by Jason McLaren, Landman for EOG, showed that EOG holds a leasehold interest in the Application Lands.

 

8.            Geologic testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by John H. Melby, Petroleum Geologist for EOG, showed the regional dip for the Niobrara Formation underlying the Application Lands is approximately 40 feet per mile to the west across the proposed spaced area and that the Niobrara Formation exists under all of the Application Lands.  Additional testimony showed that the total thickness of the Niobrara Formation under the Application Lands is 270 to 280 feet with the thickest area in the northern portion of the proposed spaced area.

 

9.            Engineering testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the Application by Osman G. Apaydin, Reservoir Engineer for EOG, showed analogous EOG horizontal wells in 640-acre drilling and spacing units have a recovery factor of 5%.  Additional testimony showed that the average drainage area for a short lateral well is 99 acres; however, the average drainage area for a long lateral well is 168 acres, resulting in an improvement of 70%.  The testimony concluded that by maximizing horizontal well length, the longer lateral well will have the increased possibility of crossing fault/fracture-like features which will lead to substantially larger recovery of hydrocarbons.

 

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

 

11.          EOG has agreed to be bound by the oral order of the Commission. 

 

12.          Based on the facts stated in the Application, having received no protests, and based on the Hearing Officer review under Rule 511, the Commission should enter an order to vacate two approximate 640-acre drilling and spacing units established by Order No. 421-3 for Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M., and establish an approximate 1240-acre stand-up exploratory drilling and spacing unit for Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M., and approve up to ten wells within the unit, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

ORDER

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that two approximate 640-acre drilling and spacing units established by Order No. 421-3 for Sections 24 and 25, Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M., are hereby vacated, and an approximate 1240-acre stand-up exploratory drilling and spacing unit for the below-described lands, is hereby established, and up to ten wells within the unit, are hereby approved, for the production of oil, gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation, with the bottomhole locations not less than 600 feet from the boundary of the proposed drilling unit and not less than 460 feet from any other well or treated interval of a well producing from the Niobrara Formation, without exception being granted by the Director:

 

Township 12 North, Range 63 West, 6th P.M.

Section 24:

All (that portion which lies in Colorado, approximately 625-acres, more or less)

Section 25:

All

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

 

            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 thirty (30) days after the date of 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 __________ day of January, 2013, as of January 7, 2013.

 

 

OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

 

 

By:__________________________________

            Robert J. Frick, Secretary