ShaleTech: U.S. Rockies ///

Aside from the mosaic Niobrara shale, the fledgling unconventional plays within the U.S. Rockies are largely footnotes when stacked against the more fêted plays in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere. As such, they find themselves lost in the shuffle, as precious capital shifts to their more-established counterparts. With cash-starved independents opting for the higher returns of more developed plays, emerging unconventional prospects across much of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah find themselves out of vogue, for the time being at least, as planned 2015 activity has either been slashed appreciably or suspended altogether. EOG Resources, for one, says its 2015 emphasis on returns over growth will see it drill the minimum wells required to hold leases within its acreage in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River basins, with nearly all those wells to be left uncompleted until prices recover. “We do not believe that growing oil in what could turn out to be a short-cycle low price environment is the right thing to do,” Chairman and CEO Bill Thomas said in announcing fourth-quarter earnings and EOG’s 2015 guidance.

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