Bill Barrett Reviews 2008 US Operating Results
Bill Barrett has issued a review of its full-year 2008 operating results, as well as an update for its ongoing US operations.
Wells Spud and Capital Expenditures
Capital expenditures for 2008 totaled $601.1 million and included: $542.1 million for drilling, exploration and development of natural gas and oil properties; $39.4 million for acquisition of proved and undeveloped properties; $14.8 million for geologic and geophysical costs and exploratory dry holes and abandonment; and $4.8 million for furniture, fixtures, equipment and other assets. The Company did not have any major property sales during the year but received $2.4 million in proceeds from several smaller transactions, which was not deducted from the total above.
Operating and Drilling Update
Piceance Basin, Colorado
Gibson Gulch -- Current net production is approximately 92 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d), and the Company plans to operate a two-rig program through 2009. The Piceance program continues to be a key, low-risk, high growth development area for the Company and offers flexibility to adjust the number of active rigs dependent upon the Company's capital strategy.
At year-end 2008, the Piceance development project had 372.1 Bcfe in proved reserves and 1.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe) of proved, probable and possible resources. The proved, probable and possible resources include 10-acre development across the Company's Piceance acreage where, to date, the Company has drilled 108 successful wells on 10-acre density. During 2008, the Company added 60 MMcf/d of compression capacity, increasing project capacity to 140 MMcf/d.
Piceance Basin activity is subject to regulations of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which has adopted new rules that go into effect April 1, 2009. While the Company expects to be able to execute its 2009 program, it believes that the revised rules will cause additional costs and may cause delay for our Colorado operations.
At year-end 2008, the Company had an approximate 94% working interest in production from 424 gross wells in its Gibson Gulch program.
Uinta Basin, Utah
West Tavaputs -- Current net production is approximately 89 MMcfe/d, and the Company plans to operate one rig in the area to drill up to 16 wells in 2009.
As already announced, the Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Statement for full-field development at West Tavaputs has been deferred to President Obama's administration. Due to the pending transition of certain positions within the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Interior, the Company believes it will be months before the Record of Decision is obtained.
At year-end 2008, the West Tavaputs development project had 320.3 Bcfe in proved reserves and 1.4 Tcfe of proved, probable and possible resources, with the majority of probable and possible resources related to 40-acre density drilling locations. To date in the shallow drilling program (Wasatch/Mesaverde), the Company has drilled 36 successful wells on 40-acre density and has six 20-acre density pilot wells on production with an additional three-well pilot test under evaluation.
The West Tavaputs program continues to offer low-risk growth in the shallow zones as well as upside opportunity through the deep potential of the east and west structures and in the Mancos shale.
At year-end 2008, the Company had an approximate 96% working interest in production from 130 gross wells in its West Tavaputs shallow and deep programs.
Blacktail Ridge/Lake Canyon -- During 2008, the Company moved the infill program in the Blacktail Ridge area into the development phase and drilled 12 wells and in Lake Canyon drilled and completed one well. Currently in the combined area, there are 16 operated and producing wells with gross production capacity of approximately 4,000 barrels of oil per day (Bopd). Oil produced from this area is a yellow wax that incurs an approximate $17 to $20 per barrel sales price deduction from West Texas Intermediate oil price quotes. As a result of current oil prices, infrastructure needs and delays in obtaining permits, activity in this area will be reduced in 2009. Currently, the Company has several wells shut-in affected by marketing and refining constraints and expects that gross production may be limited to approximately 1,000 to 1,500 Bopd during 2009.
Hook -- During 2008, the Company drilled one deep well (50% working interest; total depth 7,585 feet) in the Hook prospect targeting the Manning Canyon shale. The well indicated good gas shows and high gas contents from core samples. In March 2009, the Company plans to drill a horizontal well with a 3,700 foot lateral, offsetting the vertical core well. In the shallower Juana Lopez shale gas prospect (100% working interest), the Company recently drilled a 3,900 foot vertical evaluation well that is currently in the testing process.
Powder River Basin, Wyoming
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) -- Current CBM net production is approximately 26 MMcf/d, slightly constrained in the Cat Creek area due to insufficient compression capacity. The Company is currently operating one rig through February, at which time winter wildlife stipulations go into effect and drilling activity is stopped through July 2009. Development of this area requires dewatering of wells, which takes an average of six to 12 months. During 2009, the Company will see continued dewatering of wells with production expected to increase by approximately one-third as wells dewater.
At year-end 2008, the Powder River development project had proved reserves of 66.6 Bcf and proved, probable and possible resources of 178.3 Bcf and had an approximate 74% working interest in production from 666 gross CBM wells.
Wind River Basin, Wyoming
Cave Gulch/Bullfrog -- During 2008, the Company recompleted the Bullfrog 14-18 well, which became a prolific producer and is currently producing approximately 19.3 MMcf/d gross. The Company has postponed recompletion of the Bullfrog 33-19 well, located along the same fault block, due to currently low natural gas prices.
In the Cave Gulch deep program, the Company spud two wells during 2008, the Cave Gulch 31-32 well (46% working interest) and the East Bullfrog 23-6 well (50% working interest), each targeting the Frontier, Muddy and Lakota formations at 17,000 to 19,000 feet. The Cave Gulch 31-32 well, which tested 1 MMcf/d from the Muddy and Lakota formations, is currently undergoing continued testing in the third Frontier formation and is planned to be recompleted in the first Frontier formation later this year. The East Bullfrog 23-6 well was recently completed in the Muddy and Lakota formations and, while early in the flowback stage, the well is producing more than 6.5 MMcf/d of natural gas to sales.
Paradox Basin, Colorado
Yellow Jacket -- As reported earlier, the Company made a significant grass roots discovery at the Yellow Jacket shale gas prospect in the Paradox Basin in southwest Colorado. Gas sales were initiated from the Gothic shale in December 2008, and the Company is currently selling approximately 2 MMcf/d from two wells into temporary taps on Northwest Pipeline. A third completed well is currently shut-in for analysis as the Company continues to adjust completion procedures. The Company has five horizontal Gothic Shale wells in various stages, with three completed, one waiting on completion and one currently drilling. A one rig continuous program is planned for this area in 2009, as the Company will seek to better determine the scope of this discovery. The Company has a 55% working interest in this project.
Green Jacket -- During 2008, the Company drilled one vertical well into the Hovenweep shale, which was re-entered and taken horizontal during the first quarter of 2009. Eight fracture stimulation stages have been selected in the 3,400 foot lateral portion of the well. Completion work is planned for the second quarter of 2009. The Company has a 100% working interest in the Green Jacket prospect.
Montana Overthrust, Montana
Circus -- During 2008, the Company drilled four vertical appraisal wells to test the Cody shale and will continue further completion work on these wells during 2009 with plans to drill a horizontal well mid-year 2009. The Company has a 50% working interest in this prospect.
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