Zach Koppang | Shale Plays Media
Oil production in Laramie County, Wyoming has long been speculated to be the location of the next big oil boom, but it seems to be taking longer than expected according to a report by the Casper Star Tibune.
At the beginning of the decade oil and gas companies were surging to the area with high hopes of capitalizing on the Niobrara shale formation. Companies such as Noble Energy, Rex and SM energy have since retreated, but production in the area continues to grow. State statistics indicate that oil production is indeed on the rise with a record-setting 132 drilling applications filed in May. The next highest total of applications filed was 104, occuring the month prior. Production has also increased with Laramie County, as of last Friday, producing 1.3 million barrels compared to the 1.4 million barrels produced there last year.
Leading the slow but steady increase in development is EOG Resources with a reported production rate of 507,289 barrels. EOG reported success on three of wells drilled in the Codell sandstone formation with initial production rates of 1,325 barrels of oil per day, 1,400 Bopd and 1,165 Bopd. While these figures pale in comparison to production rates of EOG’s wells in the Eagle Ford formation (5,000 Bpod), it indicates that the formation continues to show potential.
Benjamin Storrow of the Casper Star-Tribune reports:
“The DJ Basin historically has been very variable, so there are sweet spots that really kind of set up by the basin architecture, and it varies,” EOG CEO William Thomas told financial analysts in May. “We really believe with our good results that we’ve had from the drilling in this area and with our geologic mapping that that we have a spot, (a) sweet spot that will give us very consistent results.”
The company estimated that it could recover the equivalent of 400 million barrels of oil from the Codell and Niobrara around Cheyenne and from the Parkman and Turner formations in the Powder River Basin.
Predictions of an impending oil boom are to be taken with caution, but the area is already feeling some impacts of the increased development. Production seems to happening slowly enough to allow for proper infrastructure to be put into place. Laramie County is currently trying to expedite the permitting process for new apartment complexes, hoping to help accommodate the future influx of workers.