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Niobrara Shale >> Overview

Niobrara Shale Overview

The Niobrara shale formation is situated in northeastern Colorado and parts of adjacent Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.  Primarily an oil play, it is in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, which has long been a major oil and gas province. Technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the last decade has helped create new opportunities in this U.S. energy play.

Based on the industry’s plans, shale and other “tight rock” fields that now produce about half a million barrels of oil per day, will produce up to three million barrels per day in the U.S. by 2020, according to IHS CERA, an energy research firm. 

Oil and natural gas can be found at depths of 3,000 to 14,000 feet and is drilled both vertically and horizontally.  Considered to be the next major resources play, some compare the Niobrara shale to the successful Bakken shale formation.

Most of the development activity is now centered in the DJ Basin, with operators developing multi-bench, as well as the codell formation.


Adding more upside to the play are the numerous nearby formations that accompany it, including Powder River coalbed methane, Mancos and Mowry shale potential.

Multi-Basin / Niobrara System

  1. DJ Basin (Niobrara A, B and C and Codell)

  2. Powder River Basin (Parkman, Sussex, Niobrara, Turner)

  3. North Park Basin (Niobrara )


DJ Basin Map :  Niobrara A, B and C.  Plus the Wattenberg Field


DJ Basin : Cross-Section and


North Park Basin

In the North Park Basin, Sandrige is actively developing the Niobrara play.  Where is the North Park Basin relative to the DJ Basin?

Source : Sandrige Energy via Shale Experts Presentation Manager


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