docFinder alert PLS PLS
Week of December 10, 2012Volume 2, No. 37

Solid Positions and Players

Updates from the Bakken, Niobrara, Wolfberry plus, Utica, Eagle Ford and Marble Falls



Continental: Bakken/Three Forks

OOIP up 57%


December 5, 2012

Full Presentation



Noble: Niobrara

Resources up over 60%


December 6, 2012

Full Presentation


This docFinder Alert presents fresh data on select oil resource plays that are in full growth mode. These plays are largely responsible for the recent growth of U.S. oil production which reversed a downward trajectory solidly in place from 1970 to 2009.  While recent news by some analysts is raising concern over a drop in 2013 for the price of oil, the positions held by the companies featured in this Alert should all continue to flourish even with a lower oil price deck.

The slide above shows Continental Resources' significant recently released upward revision of Bakken/Three Forks resources.  The 2012 estimate of OOIP increased 57% to 903 billion bbls vs. 507 billion bbls in 2010.  At a 5% recovery factory, this pegs the play to produce 45 billion bbls!  The resource base increase is due to expansion of the play both geographically and vertically.  CLR is now completing its first TF3 test and, in a 10-well program, had oil shows in the TF2, TF3 and TF4 benches.  The economics of this play work quite well even at $60 Nymex oil.

Not to be outdone, the slide above right shows that Noble Energy has increased its risked recoverable resources in the DJ Basin, including the Greater Wattenberg Area and Northern Colorado, over 60% YOY to 2.1 Bboe.  In this area, horizontal EUR's have now increased to 335 Mboe per well and the number of locations has nearly doubled to 9,500.  This breaks down to 6,400 oil locations in the GWA based on 47-acre spacing, 1,350 gas locations in the GWA based on 80-acre spacing and 1,750 locations in the Northern Colorado area based on 89-acre spacing.  Noble calls the Niobrara a "Top Oil Resource Play" - with this slide comparing well economics versus the Eagle Ford and the Bakken.  This play is paving the way forward for Noble and is expected to deliver 5-year CAGR production growth rates of over 20% to nearly 200,000 boepd by 2017.


More HOT slides and data below. 

Additional fresh data is shown below for the Midland Basin by Energen, the Utica by Range Resources, the Eagle Ford by ConocoPhillips and the Marble Falls by Atlas Resource Partners.


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featured.slides from docFinder

Slide Slide Slide Slide

Wolfberry +


December 4, 2012


Utica: Getting Going

>Range Resources

December 5, 2012


Eagle Ford: 50% Returns


December 10, 2012


Marble Falls: IRRs >50%

Atlas Resource Partners

December 4, 2012


Permian Basin player Energen Resources spent $490 mm (40% of 2012 Capex) on the vertical Wolfberry in the Midland basin.  Energen drilled 135 wells and achieved 30-day average rates of 69 boepd (76% oil) with a 33% ROR ($100 oil and 40-acre spacing).  The multi-pay nature of the area creates a large inventory of drilling locations targeting the vertical Wolfberry play, the horizontal Wolfcamp and the horizontal Cline. Like the Bakken/Three Forks, this play is expanding both geographically and vertically. Energen is also active in the Delaware basin. In sum, Energen believes it is under-valued, despite strong cash flows, hedges and a proven track record.


Range Resources core area is in the PA shales (Marcellus, Upper Devonian and Utica) where it holds over 1 MM net acres.  RRC's success and running room in the super-rich Marcellus are well-documented.  The slide above shows its 190,000 acre position in NW Pennsylvania targeting the wet gas window of the Utica/Point Pleasant area.  RRC has just completed its first well and expects to spud a second in Q4 2012.  This cross-section shows the reservoir at 7,000 feet to be thickening to 200 feet moving NE from Ohio into Pennsylvania. On another front, RRC recently announced that it is putting certain of its Permian basin properties up for sale.


ConocoPhillips - the largest North American independent - is blessed with a "Majors" asset base and compelling growth. COP's investment approach rewards shareholders with a high dividend plus growth.  Its flagship is the high quality Eagle Ford position where COP holds 228,000 acres and 1.8 Bboe of resources.  Production is expected to grow from nearly 70,000 boepd to over 120,000 boepd by 2014.  COP's L48 liquids rich resource position is expected to have cash margins of over $40/boe in 2016 - also note on this slide that COP is planning sales of lower margin properties.  Other high margin winners: Canada oilsands, Asia/Pacific,  and North Sea. 


For our industry friends and smaller players, we alert you to ground zero of the highly economic Marble Falls play in Jack County, Texas.  Atlas Resource Partners LP just paid $225 MM to buy the E&P assets from DTE Energy. EUR's have doubled and IRRs are >50%. Back in July, DTE reported vertical wells IP's of up to 250 boepd and payback in 6 to 24 months. Opportunity seekers for this play might want to look at Pioneer's planned sales.  Petrichor Energy provides quality data and reports low entry level land pricing, rapid development and positive results with over 60 recent horizontal and vertical wells. A Jack County well had a 1,500 boepd IP from 4,000 to 5,000 feet.


Full Presentation

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

featured.transactions from PLS global M&A database

12/12/12BHP sells 10.23% in Australia's Browse LNG project to PetroChina$1,630 MM
12/11/12Bonterra outbids Pinecrest to buy Spartan Oil (Canada)$475 MM
12/05/12Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold acquires McMoRan Exploration$2,400 MM
12/05/12Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold acquires Plains E&P$17,200 MM

Source: PLS M&A Database