LINN’s Rockies region consists of properties in Wyoming (Green River Basin and Powder River Basin), northeastern Utah (Uinta Basin), Northwestern Colorado (Piceance Basin) and North Dakota (Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin).
LINN began building a Rockies position in 2011 through three acquisitions in the Williston Basin. In April 2012, the Company entered a joint-venture agreement to develop the Salt Creek Field in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. In July 2012, LINN secured a strong foothold in the Rockies through an acquisition of assets in the Jonah Field, located in the Green River Basin. In December 2013, LINN further added to its position by acquiring properties located in the Uinta and Piceance Basins through the acquisition of Berry Petroleum Company, LLC.
Wells in this diverse region produce both oil and natural gas from formations at depths ranging from 1,000 to over 13,000 feet. The Jonah Field located in the Green River Basin of southwest Wyoming produces from the Lance and Mesaverde formations at depths ranging from 8,000 to 13,500 feet. The Company’s properties in the Powder River Basin consist of a CO2 flood operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the Salt Creek Field. Properties, recently acquired from Berry Petroleum, produce from the Green River and Wasatch formations in the Uinta Basin at depths ranging from 5,000 to 7,500 feet, and from the Williams Fork formation in the Piceance Basin at depths ranging from 7,500 to 9,500 feet. The Company’s non-operated properties in the Williston Basin produce at depths ranging from 9,000 to 12,000 feet.
Rockies proved reserves represented approximately 28 percent of total proved reserves at December 31, 2013, of which 46 percent were classified as proved developed. This region produced 187 MMcfe/d or 23 percent of the Company’s 2013 average daily production. During 2013, the Company invested approximately $306 million to drill in this region. During 2014, the Company anticipates spending approximately 38 percent of its total oil and natural gas capital budget for development activities in the Rockies region.
Enhanced Oil Recovery Technology
LINN is partnering with Anadarko to increase production from the Salt Creek Field though enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology that utilizes carbon dioxide (CO2) to stimulate production. EOR is used to increase the amount of oil produced from mature reservoirs after primary recovery methods run their course. EOR operations in Salt Creek utilize CO2 to stimulate oil production from a century-old field. The CO2 injected into the ground enhances oil production and prevents a greenhouse gas from being emitted into the atmosphere. As listed on Anadarko’s website, the Salt Creek project currently sequesters enough CO2 each day to offset the equivalent emissions of more than half a million cars. LINN believes there is potential to apply the technical knowledge gained about EOR operations through this partnership in Salt Creek, to several of its existing legacy fields.
Additionally, LINN is analyzing the recovery of oil in place beneath its Uinta Basin oil fields, utilizing water flooding.