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Equipment from a stick pipe drilling rig is transferred last year from Shell Oil Company’s Harper Hill location. Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP has filed for a permit with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to construct its 20th exploratory well in the Yampa Valley.

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Shell looks to expand exploration of Niobrara Formation

SWEPI applies for new test well 12 miles southwest of Craig

The winter months may not be prime times to drill, but that didn’t stop a major energy operator from trying to expand its exploration operations in the Niobrara Formation. In August Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP filed a permit application with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to add a new test well in Moffat County on Iles Mountain about 12 miles southwest of Craig. The application went live on the COGCC’s web site earlier this month.

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Shell completes Harper Hill drilling near Craig

Shell Oil Company announced Tuesday it is moving on to the next phase of drilling at its location atop Harper Hill. “We finished drilling on the Harper Hill location, and that rig has been moved offsite,” said Carolyn Tucker, community relations representative for Shell. “We’re moving in a smaller rig to complete the wells to see if there is any flow.” A stick pipe rig — Rig 111 — has been working at the junction of Colorado Highway 317 and Moffat County Road 37 since mid-August, drilling two separate horizontal wells from one pad. Tucker said the Harper Hill wells were first drilled to a depth of 3,500 feet, then 3,000 horizontal feet. Each well is composed of more than 200 sections of pipe measuring 30 feet each.

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