DJ/Niobrara News Pulse January 2020

By sali
Posted: February 28, 2020

The DJ/Niobrara Basin| January 2020

Field Overview

Located mainly in the Northeast of Colorado, the Denver-Julesburg Basin consists of five main oil-producing formations: Niobrara sections A-C, Codell, and Greenhorn. These five plays produce over 90% of Colorado’s oil/gas.

State Drilling Statistics

Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 20
Total Rigs in Colorado- 22
Total Rigs in United States- 790
Total U.S. Rigs down 34% YTD

State Top Producers

Top Gas Producer-
Top Oil Producer-

Financial & Economic Updates

Audit Slaps Colorado for Sloppy Record Keeping and Lack of Accountability

Colorado could be losing millions in tax revenues. A new state audit finds that oil and gas companies operating in Colorado have failed to submit thousands of monthly reports used to track how much energy they produce. It is estimated that operators would have been subject to about $308 million in penalties from the COGCC that were never imposed. The audit also notes that 10 percent of operators filed reports with missing information. The COGCC contests the fines figure that the audit arrived at and pointed out that penalties are a compliance mechanism, not a revenue source. “The audit’s $308 million figure assumes that all operators did not comply after receiving a notification and that all were fined at the maximum amount,” said the COGCC’s statement. “We know that when operators receive notifications, they tend to comply before a penalty is assessed.” Politician Michaelson Jenet notes that, “without that data, we can’t assess severance tax.” The state oil and gas commission has agreed to meet with the audit committee again in July.

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State Highlights

Colorado Rising Pushes for more Oil and Gas Setbacks

Colorado Rising, a grassroots group opposed to hydraulic fracturing, announced it has filed with the secretary of state six ballot measures, five of which would increase setbacks between drilling rigs and homes up from the baseline 500 feet for homes and 1,000 feet for schools. One of the setback measures would increase setbacks to the same distance sought
in Prop. 112. According to the COGCC a setback of that distance would have the effect of outlawing oil and gas drilling in more than half the state. The four other setback measures are incrementally less restrictive, some of which give landowners the right to waive the setback requirements. Advocates are also pushing a ballot measure that would more than double the maximum bond amount that companies have to front for potential reclamation costs before they can receive a permit. The proposed legislation would make it so that companies would have to put up $270,000 per well before obtaining a permit as opposed to the current $60,000 for 100 statewide wells or $100,000 for unlimited.

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Colorado’s New Search Tool Allows the Public to See Infrastructure

Covered by Rare Petro last year, the GIS database for oil and gas infrastructure has been released from the COGCC. A main cause for the creation of this system dates to the Firestone home explosion of 2017 that killed two and severely burned one. Although hundreds of thousands of lines and entities already exist in the database, operators have until the end of 2020 to submit all data to the COGCC for addition to the database. It currently outlines everything from oil and gas fields, to orphaned wells, to floodplains.

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Top Gas Producers

(MMscf / Month)

Top Oil Producers



Colorado Production

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