Ultra Petroleum (UPL) provided a little more detail on its new Niobrara position during the conference call held on August 10, 2011.
Ultra Petroleum has assembled 100,000 net acres that is outside the current hub of activity in the Niobrara. The company decided on this strategy for three reasons:
“First, we've done the regional work to support our decision. We've mapped all 3 chalk benches from both a structural and a thickness standpoint. We've also mapped thermal maturity and net oil pay across the DJ Basin.”
“Second, beyond regional mapping, we have 30 feet of recent conventional core from a Niobrara bench in the middle of our leased position. We got a full suite of shale logs including fracture identification logs from that same key well. We also have 21 square miles of 3-D seismic data and regional gravity and regional arrow magnetic data.”
“Third factor behind our decision is cost. We have assembled an attractive leasehold position in a highly prospective area at costs much lower than leases in Weld and Laramie counties. We're currently making plans to drill 4 exploratory wells across our acreage position this winter. We'll be acquiring modern shale logs and taking additional Niobrara core. Our intent is to test the Niobrara chalk benches individually in these wells as all 3 look prospective in the area, and we want to determine where the value is. We plan to test the resource with horizontal wells early next year.”
Ultra Petroleum believes that its leasehold is as good as any in Weld and Laramie counties:
“Our rock quality from a porosity, oil saturation, lithology, brittleness standpoint is every bit as good, if not better than in those areas. We have positive indications of fracture in our well logs and regional work indicating the area is likely to be fractured.”