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It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin

A Samson Resources II-operated drilling rig in the Powder River Basin. The company, which holds 152,000 acres in the basin, plans to have two rigs working there by the end of October. Source: Samson Resources II.

Years in the making, the recent steady rise in drilling in the Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming is generating excitement reminiscent of the early days of currently more-established US onshore oil plays.

The upturn in activity is resulting in double-digit production growth. Wells are bubbling over with oil, and operators are bubbling over with enthusiasm. This has been most evident in recent industry presentations, where decision makers from the basin’s exclusive club of operators have gushed over what is becoming a core asset in their portfolios.

Given the basin’s oil richness, multiple stacked horizons, and well performance and economics, “we think it’s comparable and competitive with the big-name basins—whether it’s the Permian, SCOOP, or STACK,” Joseph DeDominic, president and chief operating officer of Anschutz Exploration, said at a recent SPE Gulf Coast Section meeting on the basin.

“This is what really gets us excited—the fact that you have 5,000 ft of stacked pay which is very similar to what you see in the other basins,” generating a high-dollar amount per acre, said Aaron Ketter, vice president of Devon’s Rockies business unit, during the same event. Formations are “highly economical” at $50/bbl and under, he said, with the heart of the Turner zone sometimes breaking even in the high $30s/bbl.

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It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin

Matt Zborowski, Technology Writer

01 October 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 10

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