The Piceance Basin, located in the western part of Colorado, has historically been developed using directional drilling techniques. Over the last couple of years, rig activity has been mostly unchanged with 35 rigs active.
However, in winter 2009-2010, two horizontal wells drilled by Encana into the Niobrara Shale in the Piceance Basin tested at initial production rates comparable to those drilled in the Haynesville shale in Louisiana, which is among the most prolific gas-producing areas in North America. These well results may signal a new era of gas production growth for the Piceance.
Platts' Market Alert, Niobrara Gas Breathes Life into Piceance, explores the early indications that the Niobrara Shale formation may dramatically change the economics for gas production in the Piceance, and includes an overview of the two wells drilled by Encana.