PDC Energy expects 25 percent production increase for 2018

By Patrick C. Miller | December 12, 2017

PDC Energy Inc., headquartered in Denver, released its 2018 capital investment budget which is projected between $850 million and $920 million with an estimated production growth of 25 percent.

PDC is an independent E&P with primary operations in Colorado’s Wattenberg Field and the Delaware Basin in Texas. The company’s operations are focused in the horizontal Niobrara and Codell plays in the Wattenberg Field and in the Wolfcamp zones in the Delaware Basin.

For 2018, PDC projects year-over-year production growth of 38 to 42 million barrels with oil production accounting for 42 percent of the total. The company expects a production increase of more than 80 percent in the Delaware Basin. These projections are based on oil prices of $50 a barrel and a $3 gas price deck.

"As we head into 2018, our teams are point-focused on delivering strong operational execution,” said, Bart Brookman, PDC president and CEO. “In Wattenberg, our three-rig pace targets some of the most capital efficient, high rate-of-return projects in the country. 

“In the Delaware, we continue to gain momentum in unlocking our tremendous resource potential, which includes our first downspacing test in our eastern area,” Brookman said.  “Overall, our plan is focused on our most productive projects and the ongoing pursuit of technical innovations.”

The company anticipates operating in a cash-flow-neutral environment over the second half of 2018, but expects a cash-flow-positive fourth quarter assuming $50 oil and $3 gas. It will spud roughly 153 operated wells and turn-in-line (TIL) approximately 161 operated wells.

During the coming year, PDC plans to invest around $480 million in the Wattenberg Field, of which about $425 million is expected to be invested in operated drilling and completion activity. The majority of the remaining capital is related to participation in non-operated projects. 

In the Delaware Basin, PDC plans to invest approximately $395 million with about $275 million dedicated to operated drilling and completions investments. The company plans to spud 22 wells, 20 of which are expected to be located in its eastern area.  PDC plans to TIL 22 wells in 2018, approximately 50 percent of which are projected to be in the company's consolidated position within its eastern area.