Addressing recent developments affecting the oil and gas industry in the Rockies, the Shale Symposium in Denver drew close to 300 industry professionals, making it one of the highest attended of the six symposiums hosted by the firm’s Energy and Shale team since the spring of 2013. The symposiums have attracted speakers and attendees from major players in the oil and gas industry throughout the country, as well as attention from national media and trade publications. Attendees represented top energy companies, including Anadarko, Antero Resources, Encana, EOG Resources, MarkWest Energy Partners, National Oilwell Varco, Noble Energy, Schlumberger, SM Energy, Whiting Petroleum, and WPX Energy. The Denver event was attended by reporters from Bloomberg News,EnergyWire, Law Week Colorado, Oil & Gas Journal, Platts, and Shale Daily. Young Professionals in Energy, a non-profit organization facilitating the advancement of young professionals in the global energy industry, co-hosted the event.
Following opening remarks by Partner Ray Whitman, Brad Holly, vice president of operations at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, discussed development of the Wattenberg field of the Niobrara shale play, noting that horizontal wells in the Wattenberg field are generating approximately 150 times the production of vertical wells in the field. Holly also addressed Colorado ballot measure 88, which potentially poses a significant threat to the Colorado oil and gas industry because its setback requirements (2,000 feet) would result in a de facto ban on drilling in the Niobrara shale play. Mark R. Williams, senior vice president of exploration and development at Whiting Petroleum Corporation, spoke about the legislative and regulatory issues associated with flaring of natural gas in the Bakken and added that Whiting has taken steps to limit flaring. Williams also discussed new drilling technologies being implemented by Whiting in the Niobrara and Bakken shale plays to increase recovery rates. Matt Most, vice president of U.S. government relations at Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc., said that the outcome of the debate over hydraulic fracturing in Colorado will likely lead the national debate. He also shared information on the economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, pointing out that 65 cents of every dollar invested in energy stays in the local economy.
“We’re very pleased with the attendance and strong interest from the oil and gas industry in our oil- and gas-related programs,” noted Partner Martin Booher, co-leader of BakerHostetler’s Energy and Shale team. “These events demonstrate the depth and experience we offer clients nationally on energy-related matters.”
“The Denver symposium showcased the highly specialized skills and experience our attorneys in Denver, Houston, Ohio, and other offices have in the Rocky Mountain region and in the national energy/shale space,” said Whitman, chair of BakerHostetler’s national Litigation Practice Group and co-leader of the firm’s Energy and Shale team.
Of the next symposium, slated for Cleveland in early fall, Booher said, “The ongoing rapid development of the Utica and other unconventional formations in Eastern Ohio—coupled with the judicial, regulatory, and political response to this development—promise to make it a significant ‘value add’ to the oil and gas industry.”