Nighthawk, the US focused shale oil development and production company, announces an update on production and drilling at its 100% controlled and operated Smoky Hill and Jolly Ranch projects in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, Colorado.
- Average total oil production in December 2012 of 276 bbls/day, a record monthly production level for the projects
- Average total oil production in Quarter 4 2012 of 192 bbls/day, a record quarterly production level for the projects
- Knoss 6-21 well, the third well in Nighthawk's 2012 drilling program, commenced production from the Cherokee shale formation on 18 December 2012.
- New investment in water disposal facilities currently underway on the Jolly Ranch project resulting in temporary shut-in of production from 6-21 and 6-2 wells until mid-January
- The 2012 drilling program has confirmed the widespread oil-bearing potential of the Cherokee shale formations with excellent logs at all five wells drilled
The Knoss 6-21 well, located on the Jolly Ranch project area, commenced production from the Cherokee shale formation on 18 December 2012. Shortly after the production start-up the well was temporarily shut-in due to bad weather.
The Knoss 6-21 well produces with a relatively high water cut and on the resumption of production after the weather shut-in, very high initial total fluid production from the well exceeded immediately available water disposal capacity in the Jolly Ranch area. As a result the company is upgrading its water disposal capacity and the Knoss 6-21 well will be brought back on-line when that work is complete around mid-January.
The John Craig 6-2 well, which also produces significant amounts of water, was shut-in for most of December.
On the Smoky Hill project, the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well produces almost no water and has maintained steady and consistent oil production throughout December. The strong initial performance of this well since it came on-stream in late November indicates potential for an increase in production in 2013.
Despite the impact on production of the 6-21 and 6-2 shut-ins, total production in December averaged 276 bbls/day of oil, a new monthly record for the projects.
The five well 2012 drilling program was completed as planned and at lower cost than anticipated, with an excellent safety and environmental record. Drilling efficiency improved throughout the program and was significantly better than forecast, with the final three wells taking less than 7 days drilling time per well. Average drilling cost per well was under US$800,000.
Three of the five wells have entered into production, although current indications are that the John Craig 6-2 well, which produced very high initial oil flows, will not sustain production without additional completion work which is planned for this year. The Board believes that there is potential for commercial production from the other two wells, but further work is required to determine the best approach to completion.
The drilling program has confirmed the widespread oil-bearing potential of the Cherokee shale formations with excellent logs at all five wells. However, further analysis and development is required on the Cherokee completion approach, as two wells, the Pike's Peak Williams 4-30 and the Whistler 6-22 did not produce oil-flows on initial completion. This work is already underway and once completed, further Cherokee development wells are expected to be drilled later this year.
Nighthawk has gathered a substantial amount of new information from the drilling program and this will help inform the Company's plans for further development in 2013. In particular, the Board will be focusing on the potential for early drilling of additional producing wells around the Steamboat Hansen 8-10, Knoss 6-21 and John Craig 6-2 locations.
Stephen Gutteridge, Chairman of Nighthawk, commented:
"The results from the 2012 drilling program are significant and positive for the potential future value of our acreage. The execution of the program has been outstanding, a credit to our Denver team and the contractors involved."
"Our oil production has significantly increased as a result of the drilling program and further work is expected to add additional production this year. The discovery of potentially sizeable conventional oil reserves in the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well adds further value and additional discoveries of this type would provide further upside."
"The program has marked a step forward in proving up the potential of the Cherokee shale across our acreage. The well logs have confirmed the Cherokee potential in all five wells with a distance of over 40 miles between the most northerly and southerly wells. We will now be evaluating all of the information gained from the drilling program with the objective of formulating our development plans for 2013."