DJ/Niobrara News Pulse December 2022

Posted: January 24, 2023

The DJ/Niobrara Basin | December 2022

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- 13 (-3)
Total Rigs in Colorado- 20 (-1)
Total Rigs in United States- 771 (-4)
Total U.S. Rigs 28% YTD

State Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 86

State Top Producers

Top Producer By BOE – Kerr McGee (Occidental)

Basin Highlights

Suncor has shut down Colorado’s only refinery

Anyone who has driven through Denver in the winter has likely noticed the plumes of white clouds coming from the refinery nearby. While many think the clouds are toxic pollutants of some sort, they are actually just water vapor used to cool off machinery. That refinery is the only one in the entire state and was recently powered down due to equipment damage caused by the recent extreme cold streak. A press release issued by Suncor, the owner and operator of the refinery, announced that operations may not resume until March while repairs are made. This single refinery is responsible for 35-40% of all the gasoline sold within Colorado, raising concerns about gas prices in the state for the coming months. Experts warn that gas stations could begin limiting supplies to the public to conserve it for essential services. 

Colorado requires drillers assess impacts of wells. Does it matter?

The tug-of-war between environmental advocacy groups and oil and gas operators seems to never end, and likely never will. The latest push by the pro-environment groups is to toughen the rules surrounding drilling new wells, and to require more detailed environmental impact evaluations per well. These evaluations are already required, however, these groups say they are not adequately outlining the possible side-effects of drilling. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), is in charge of handling matters of this sort and is working with both industry and environmental groups to come to a conclusion. Last year (2022) the COGCC permitted a healthy 1,500 wells to be drilled, perhaps this year those numbers will dip should the rules become more stringent. 

Utility takes big loss on $1.5 billion sale of gas pipeline network that serves Colorado

Southwest Gas Holdings Inc. bought a 2,160-mile pipeline network in early 2022 for $1.9 billion which they are now selling for around $1.5 billion. For those keeping track at home that’s a loss of $350-425 million, depending on how the tax situation is worked out. The network, being sold by MountainWest Pipelines, serves northwest Colorado, Wyoming and Utah with natural gas and will be received by Oklahoma-based pipeline giant The Williams Companies Inc. The purchase and selling of the pipeline network in such a short period of time is due to the companies over-evaluation of the assets and desire to return to their core business in its original states, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Top CO Permitting By Operator

RankCompanyPermits Approved
1Simcoe LLC21
2Confluence Resources20
3Enerplus Corporation14
Hyperlinks to available Q3 2021 Reports

Top Producers by BOE

ChangeRankCompanyMMBOE Production (Jan-Sept/22)
+11 Kerr McGee (Occidental)48.9
+12PDC Energy42.2
-23Kinder Morgan 38.5
4Noble Energy (Chevron)35.2
5TEP Rocky Mountain28.9
Hyperlinks to available Q3 2021 Reports

Rig Count

Colorado Production

RARE PETRO Podcast Logo
Rare Petro Podcast

Click above to subscribe to the RARE
PETRO Podcast Network or visit

The information contained in this newsletter is provided by RARE
PETRO Engineering, PLLC via the following sources unless otherwise
RARE Petro Analytics

Related Tags: Colorado | DJ | News Pulse

Send Us a Message

Rare Petro Logo

1224 Washington Ave,
Suite 10
Golden, CO 80401

(720) 772-7371

Rare Petro Logo


Oil & Gas News Pulse


You have Successfully Subscribed!