Niobrara oil production to increase in February

Oil companies in the Niobrara will produce 290,000 barrels of oil per day per day in February, an increase of 6,000 barrels per day from the 284,000 barrels per day produced in January.

Natural-gas production, meanwhile, will fall 33,000 cubic feet to 4.293 million cubic feet per day in February from 4.326 million cubic feet per day in January.

The information comes from a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Monday. The federal agency releases the report each month, with its first report issued in October.

Drilling in the lucrative Niobrara shale formation has fed an ongoing oil and gas boom in Weld County. Production growth in the Niobrara, also residing in Wyoming, and other shale formations in the U.S. comes from advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

The report covers six regions, including the Eagle Ford, Permian, Haynesville, Marcellus and Bakken shale formations. Those areas accounted for 90 percent of domestic oil production growth and almost all domestic gas production growth, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The report uses rig counts, drilling efficiency and the productivity of new wells, and production and depletion trends for previously producing wells to forecast production.

Rising crude oil production has contributed to relatively stable global crude oil prices in 2013, at similar average levels of the previous two years. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot prices averaged $98 per barrel in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012.

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