Nextraction and its operating partner, Vantage Energy have commenced completion operations for the Noble 6-24 well in the northern region of the Pinedale Anticline. The companies will move forward with a multi-stage frac program targeting the lower 13 stages of an eventual 21 stage completion program. Costs for the 13 stage completion are estimated to be US $1.9MM. Combined with drilling costs invested to date, the cost of the completed well will be approximately US $5.4MM. The pipeline for connecting the well to the main gathering system for production sales has been completed. The frac program should take approximately 10 days to complete and place the well into production for immediate gas sales.
Company President Mark S. Dolar stated, "We are extremely excited about this next milestone in our development. The successful completion of the Noble 6-24 will move Nextraction from a speculative investment to a company with producing assets and cash flow. We are looking forward to establishing proved reserves on our assets, and enhancing the net asset value of the company as we continue on our growth plan."
The zones being completed in this multi-stage approach will include the Mesaverde and Lower Lance formation from the depths 12,480 (3,804 meters) to 14,758 feet (4,612 meters). The remaining eight stages in the Middle Lance, Upper Lance, and Tertiary zones, ranging from 9,038 feet (2,754 meters) to 11,698 feet (3565 meters) will be frac'd at a later date.
Dr. Paul B. Trost, Director and VP of Operations, explained, "We decided on completing the Noble 6-24 with this strategy for two reasons. First, the bottom zones are completed with borate gel/sand frac and the upper zones are frac'd using a slickwater frac solution. We will be able to effectively quantify production volumes by isolating the two frac types of these overpressured zones, and analyze production flow back rates from each type of frac. This will enable us to better understand how to complete wells in the future. The frac design is similar to the completion process used by nearby operators on the Pinedale Anticline and is typical of the well designs in offsetting wells. Secondly, the upper zones will be frac'd at a time when the flush production volumes have an opportunity for improved natural gas pricing."
Stim-Tech, Inc. has been retained as a third party completion/frac design engineer, because of their expertise and knowledge on the Pinedale Anticline area. Nextraction/Vantage has also contracted BJ Services Company, a completion specialist in the Pinedale Anticline, to complete the well.
Jonah Gas Gathering has completed an 800 meter pipeline from the Noble #6-24 well to the existing market infrastructure. The well will be completed into the pipeline for sales of initial production flow rates. Thus gas sales are anticipated to be initiated in time for the increasing demand for natural gas in the upcoming fall and winter months.
An independent reserve report confirming reserves is currently being reviewed and will be released along with the completion results of this well.
In addition to the completion of the Noble #6-24 well, Nextraction has recently completed its first Chattanooga shale gas well in the Appalachian Basin and is currently undergoing production tests on the well.
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