Denver-based independent PDC Energy Inc. has secured approval for its Kenosha Oil and Gas Development Plan (OGDP) in rural Weld County, CO.

Rocky Mtns. Avg. Price

The OGDP entails 69 wells on three pads, management said. The approval by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission “marks an important next step as PDC further increases its permitted inventory by another rig year and solidifies drilling and completion activity well into 2024,” according to the Denver-based independent. 

PDC expects to soon have more than 550 permits and drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells.

[Shale Daily: Including impactful news and transparent pricing for shale and unconventional plays across the U.S. and Canada, Shale Daily offers a clear snapshot of natural gas supplies for analysts, investors and global LNG buyers. Learn more.]

“PDC has demonstrated its leadership with our stakeholders in the community and regulatory agencies with the Kenosha OGDP approval,” said David Lillo, senior vice president of operations. “Kenosha is the second OGDP we have had approved and we look forward to further approvals with our Guanella Comprehensive Area Plan, Broe and other OGDPs.”

In a recent update, PDC said it expects capital investments to total $950 million to $1 billion this year, up from a previous forecast of $900 million to $1 billion. The firm expects $775-825 million of that total to go toward the Wattenberg field in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg (DJ)-Niobrara Basin.

PDC last month completed its acquisition of DJ pure-play Great Western Energy LLC in a $1.3 billion cash-and-stock deal.

Colorado is the sixth-leading oil and seventh-leading natural gas producer in the United States.

In a recent address to the Denver Petroleum Club and the Economic Club of Colorado, American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers pointed to Colorado producers as the model for responsible hydrocarbon production.

“If our country is going to live up to our billing as the world’s energy leader, then we can look to Colorado to see how it’s done,” Sommers said. “This state has been right in the middle of what we call the dual challenge – meeting America’s energy needs, and doing so safely and responsibly to protect the environment and build a lower-carbon future.”

The drilling rig count in the DJ-Niobrara stood at 15 as of June 3, up from six at the same point a year ago, according to Baker Hughes Co. 

Production in the basin is expected to total 630,000 b/d oil and 5.2 Bcf/d natural gas in June, up from 627,000 b/d and 5.19 Bcf/d in May, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The basin’s DUC well inventory, meanwhile, stood at 309 as of April, down from 506 in April 2021, EIA said.