Unconventional Oil & Gas

Shale plays first come to mind when one considers unconventional resources. These unconventional resource plays may yield natural gas, gas condensates, and crude oil. Some of the more noteworthy shale plays in North America include the Barnett, Haynesville, Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Woodford, Bakken, Niobrara, Horn River, and Utica formations. Tight gas, coalbed methane, oil sands, and heavy oil are non-shale unconventional resources.


Eagle Ford | Marcellus | Cline | Permian | Utica | Bakken | Woodbine & Eaglebine


Niobrara Shale Description ImageThe Niobrara shale formation is situated in northeastern Colorado and parts of adjacent Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. Primarily an oil play, it is in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, which has long been a major oil and gas province. An emerging play, the Niobrara is in its early stages and companies have been busy leasing land for future drilling. It has been compared by some to the Bakken shale formation farther to the north.

Samson Oil & Gas is one of the earliest companies to establish a position in the Niobrara, which some call the “NeoBakken.” Other operators include EOG Resources, Anadarko Petroleum, SM Energy, Noble Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Whiting Petroleum, Quicksilver Resources, MDU Resources, and Bill Barrett Corp. Chesapeake and EOG each have about 400,000 net acres in the Niobrara.

Niobrara Shale Map

Niobrara Shale News

Temporary ban impacts Niobrara plans for Ultra Petroleum

Dec 1, 2011

A temporary drilling moratorium spanning Banning Lewis Ranch in eastern Colorado Springs and enacted by the city has halted certain activity by Ultra Petroleum in the Niobrara Shale area, said Global Hunter Securities in a note to investors December 1.

Anadarko estimates Niobrara net resources could reach 1.5Bboe

Nov 15, 2011

Recent results from Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s first 11 horizontal Niobrara and Codell wells in the Wattenberg field of northeastern Colorado show strong initial production (IP) rates and could serve as a catalyst for potential joint venture agreements.

ConocoPhillips acquires Niobrara acreage from Lario Oil & Gas

Jul 29, 2011

UPDATE: Bill Barrett adds to DJ Basin Niobrara oil position

Jul 14, 2011

Bill Barrett adds to DJ Basin Niobrara oil position

Jul 12, 2011

Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. has signed a purchase and sale agreement with a Texas American Resources Co. affiliate to acquire DJ Basin properties targeting Niobrara oil for $150 million.

Australia's Samson Oil, Chesapeake target Codell sandstone beneath Niobrara

Jul 5, 2011

Australia-based Samson Oil & Gas Ltd. has elected to work with US-based Chesapeake Energy on two wells targeting the Codell Sandstone in Goshen County, Wyoming, USA.

IHS: Driven in part by Asian buyers, private cos may be big sellers of Niobrara assets

May 24, 2011

A heated merger and acquisition market in the oil and gas industry, which is being driven in part by Asian buyers willing to pay a premium to secure resources, may entice private exploration and production companies to consider selling their assets in the Niobrara play, said IHS in a special report. 

Promising Niobrara Shale well results for Texas American Resources

May 11, 2011

Privately held Texas American Resources Co. (TARC) has released results of its initial Niobrara Shale well, the Talmadge 44-17H.

Select Energy acquires Schneider Energy to grow Niobrara presence

May 2, 2011

Oilfield service and supply company Select Energy Services LLC has acquired Schneider Energy Services Inc. in an effort to grow its Niobrara shale and DJ Basin presence.

Oil companies ramp up operations in liquids-rich Niobrara shale play

May 1, 2011 Oil companies ramp up operations in liquids-rich Niobrara as play is considered ripe for investing.

Marubeni buys into Niobrara Shale through Marathon Oil

Apr 6, 2011

Marathon Oil has agreed to sell a portion of its Niobrara Shale-focused acreage to Marubeni Denver Julesburg, a subsidiary of Japan-based Marubeni Corp. for $270 million, or $5,000 per acre.

Anadarko acquires plant in Wattenberg Basin near Niobrara Shale play

Mar 29, 2011

Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum has agreed to purchase BP America Production Company’s 93% interest in the Wattenberg Processing Plant for approximately $575.5 million.

Chesapeake and CNOOC partner in Niobrara-focused DJ Basin and the Powder River Basin

Jan 31, 2011

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy and CNOOC Limited of China have entered into a partnership agreement in the Niobrara Shale-focused Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in northeast Colorado and the Power River Basin in southeast Wyoming.

Voyager trims Bakken activity while Niobrara operations ramp up

Jan 25, 2011

Billings, Mont.-based Voyager Oil & Gas recently provided an update on its Bakken Shale and Niobrara Shale operations.

Bonanza Creek Energy will focus on Niobrara Oil Shale

Jan 7, 2011

Denver-based Bonanza Creek Energy Inc., a newly formed independent oil and gas company, said Jan. 7 that an investor group led by West Face Capital Inc., a Toronto-based investment management firm, together with company management and the D. E. Shaw group, completed an equity financing of $265 million on Dec. 23.

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