Best Discovery


WPX Energy received the Best Discovery award from Oil and Gas Investor magazine recognizing the company’s Niobrara Shale natural gas discovery in western Colorado.

WPX originally announced the discovery in January 2013. The Niobrara discovery well has since produced more than 2.5 billion cubic feet of cumulative gas production. WPX is working to better assess the resource and identify ways to reduce drilling and completion costs while optimizing ultimate recovery.

Download an illustrated timeline of Niobrara discovery
Download Niobrara drilling graphic
Download discovery well production vs. typical Piceance wells

WPX has the lease rights to approximately 180,000 net acres of the Niobrara/Mancos shale play underlying its existing leasehold in the Piceance Basin.

“We’re grateful for this acknowledgement. It comes from a source that understands and covers industry inside and out,” said Rick Muncrief, WPX’s president and chief executive officer.

“WPX has a long record of innovation, investment and technical achievement in western Colorado, where we have developed more than 4,400 wells in a highly efficient manner.”

Since the early 2000s, WPX has invested more than $8 billion in capital spending to develop its holdings in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin.

Additionally, WPX’s oil and gas production in Colorado has generated more than $1 billion in royalties for private landowners and more than $500 million in federal royalties over the past decade, along with more than $550 million in ad valorem, severance and conservation taxes for the state.

“Energy development has substantial benefits for Colorado. Through our actions and commitment, WPX has demonstrated that we can do it safely and responsibly,” Muncrief added.

WPX’s natural gas volumes in Colorado today are enough to meet the energy needs of about 3 million homes per day.

In 2013, WPX completed 250 gross (237 net) wells in the basin and drilled four Niobrara wells.

In addition to the Best Discovery award, WPX has received 20 other honors for its Colorado operations, including 15 from the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for water management, water recycling, water quality protection, green completions, use of new technology, reclamation and best practices.

WPX’s Piceance Basin wells are also part of the FracFocus chemical disclosure registry that can be found at