Noble Energy to spend $1.7 billion in Northern Colorado next year

Noble Energy Inc., one of the largest oil and natural-gas producers in Weld County, said Thursday that it expects to invest $1.7 billion in the Denver-Julesburg Basin to accelerate its Niobrara drilling program.

The investment represents the lion’s share of a total of $3.9 billion in capital spending planned by Noble Energy next year, the Houston-based company said in a statement.

The company plans to drill 300 horizontal wells in the D.J. Basin next year, including 150 in Northern Colorado, a spokeswoman said. It will drill 60 of those wells in the Wattenberg Field area.

Noble Energy also expects its sales volumes next year to average between 270,000 and 282,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day. The amount would represent a 20 percent increase over this year, the company said.

“For a second straight year, production is projected to grow at strong double-digit rates,” CEO Charles Davidson said in a statement. “We have accelerated our development in the D.J. Basin, which will receive the greatest portion of our capital program.”

The company also expects its fourth-quarter sales volumes to rise slightly to between 252,000 and 256,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day. It attributed the estimated increase to production growth in the D.J. Basin.

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