The Niobrara formation has given energy companies a mixed bag of results so far. There have been failures like EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) and Ultra Petroleum (NASDAQOTH:UPLMQ), which have both turned their attentions elsewhere because of less-than-stellar well performance. On the other hand, both Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) and Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) have seen stellar returns on their acreage in the northeast part of Colorado. Whiting CEO James Volker has gone on record to say that Whiting can double its current size based on its acreage in the Niobrara formation alone.

So what does Noble and Whiting have that EOG and Ultra didn't? Like many of the shale formations in the U.S., it's all about location. Both Whiting and Noble eschewed the more traditional Wartenburg part of the Niobrara in Central Colorado and headed to the Northeast in what Whiting is calling the Redtail prospect. Tune into the video below to find out what makes this part of the play more attractive than those EOG and Ultra have given up on.

Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google +, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

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