Ultra eyes Niobrara in southern Denver basin

By OGJ editors

Ultra Petroleum Corp., Houston, whose major assets produce natural gas in the Green River basin and Pennsylvania Marcellus, is making a play for liquids in the Niobrara formation in Colorado in the southern Denver-Julesburg basin.

The company has 131,000 net acres in the basin, anchored in El Paso County around Colorado Springs, where it plans to drill and complete four vertical wells in the first half of 2012. Horizontal drilling could begin in the second half of the year.

The industry Niobrara play is moving toward Ultra’s position from recent discoveries in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming and across giant Wattenberg oil and gas field, the company said.

Ultra said it sees potential in the A, B, and C benches of the Niobrara formation, which the early vertical wells are expected to encounter at 5,000-7,500 ft. The company said it has 21 sq miles of 3D seismic to aid in the exploration program.

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