Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL ) recently announced its 2014 capital-spending plans. The company is planning to spend $4.8 billion in 2014, which is 23% ahead of what it spent in 2013. A bulk of its spending, or about 70%, is budgeted for projects in the U.S.
Spending a bulk of its capital in the U.S. isn't a surprise as a lot energy companies are spending big bucks here at home. What is different about Noble Energy is that Colorado will be the biggest beneficiary of that capital as the company is looking to spend about $2 billion in the Centennial State. Noble Energy sees that capital funding about 320 horizontal wells, including the development of the 50,000 acres it received in a trade with Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC ) a few months ago. Noble Energy sees this capital boosting its production in the state by 28% in 2014.
Noble Energy isn't the only company pouring additional capital into Colorado in 2014. Whiting Petroleum (NYSE: WLL ) announced earlier this year that it is accelerating the development of its Redtail Prospect in the state. The company added a second drilling rig in July and a third this past November. It also boosted its acreage in the play as it looks to build upon its early success in the state. Whiting Petroleum sees the potential for more than 3,300 future drilling locations, meaning it will be investing a lot of money in Colorado over the next few years.
Anadarko Petroleum is another company that will be investing heavily in Colorado over the next few years. After consolidating its position by trading acres with Noble Energy it's in a much better position to pursue development in the state. Overall, the company sees 4,000 future horizontal drill sites in the state that have the potential to unlock 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent resource. Anadarko Petroleum sees its position in the state yielding more than $15 billion in value for its investors.
While 2014 will certainly be a much more active year in Colorado, the future could get busier. That's because some producers like ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) are still trying to appraise Colorado's potential. The company noted that its exploration and development opportunities in the Lower 48 of the U.S. in 2014 will focus on Texas' Permian Basin as well as the Niobrara of Colorado. If the company sees similarly positive results like those of Whiting Petroleum and Noble Energy then it is very likely that the Niobrara will soon become a new development area for ConocoPhillips in the U.S.
Bottom line is that 2014 looks to be a big year as Colorado will see a flurry of oil and gas investments. Noble Energy, Whiting Petroleum, and Anadarko Petroleum have all accelerated development plans in the state and each company sees the potential for long-term-production growth. Others like ConocoPhillips have the potential to move from limited activity to full development mode in the years ahead. That puts Colorado in the position to really benefit as America's energy boom continues to expand.
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