ShaleTech: Niobrara-Codell shale ///

While the ever-tightening competition for capital has largely relegated the U.S. Rockies to lower-tier status, the one-time geological enigma that is the multi-zone Niobrara shale play has quietly come of age with its core in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) basin, generating among the highest returns in the nation’s turbulent unconventional sector. Nevertheless, save for a handful of operators, given the troublesome age in which the triple-bench Niobrara has firmly emerged from geologically tricky prospect to full-blown development, it continues to take a backseat to its more established counterparts, mainly to the south. However, count Noble Energy among those who consider the Niobrara, along with the often-stacked Mancos shale and underlying Codell sandstone horizons, much more than an afterthought.

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