Although most attention is focused on the emerging shale plays in the United States, like the Haynesville and Marcellus Shale, the Pinedale Anticline Field still keeps on trucking quarter after quarter, and shows no signs of a slow down. Many may have lost sight of just how good this field is despite being under development for years. (For a primer on the oil industry, refer to our Oil and Gas Industry Primer.)

IN PICTURES: Digging Out Of Debt In 8 Steps

Unlike the shale plays, the Pinedale is a "tight sands" formation that has an estimated 58.7 Tcf of original gas in place (OGIP). The industry believes that approximately 38.2 Tcf is recoverable. Hydraulic fracturing is still needed here, however, to unlock the gas.

Ultra Petroleum (NYSE:UPL) is generally recognized as one of the leaders in the field. The company has more than 121,000 acres under lease, and has grown production at a compound annual growth rate of 43% since 2003.

Questar Corp. (NYSE:STR) is an active developer in the Pinedale Field, where it produced 14.1 Bcfe of natural gas in second quarter. This production is still growing at double digits, and was 13% higher than the same quarter of 2008.

The company is working on efficiencies here as well. Its cost to drill has fallen 17% from the peak to $5.2 million per well, and average days to drill are now at 23.

Questar Corp is large enough to play in many areas, and is allocating 40% of its $860 million capital budget to the Haynesville Shale. This is the same amount as the Pinedale acreage is getting. Keith O. Rattie, the CEO of Questar called the plays "two of the most economic natural gas plays in the U.S."

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) made a major move into the Pinedale when it purchased Western Gas Resources in 2006. The company had interests in 900 wells there at the end of 2008, and during the second quarter the company drilled 77 wells, all on a non-operating basis.

Interestingly, Anadarko Petroleum has so many assets that it didn't even mention the Pinedale in its earnings release, with only a cursory mention in its operations update. That's a nice situation to be in for any operator.

The Pinedale is not just the province of the independent oil and gas companies. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) is involved in the area through its Shell Exploration & Production Company subsidiary. The company has 90 wells operating.

A micro cap player in the field is Bucking Horse Energy (TSX:BUC), which is partnering with some of the larger companies. Bucking Horse Energy has 4,040 net acres under lease, and believes it has hundreds of locations on that acreage as the industry down spaces to five- to- 10-acre spacing between wells for drilling.

The Pinedale Field hasn't lost any of its luster as it continues to grow and attract capital from the exploration and production industry, proving that shale is not the only game in town. (For additional reading, check out Understanding Oil Industry Terminology.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Core Growth Allocation

    Find out about the iShares Core Growth Allocation Fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility

    Learn about the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility exchange-traded fund, which invests in low-volatility equities traded on the U.S. stock market.
  4. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  5. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  6. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Mid-Cap Value

    Take an in-depth look at the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF, one of the largest and most popular mid-cap funds in the U.S. equity space.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Schwab US Broad Market

    Take an in-depth look at the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF, an incredibly low-cost fund based on a wide selection of the U.S. equity market.
  9. Professionals

    Tips for Helping Clients Though Market Corrections

    When the stock market sees a steep drop, clients are bound to get anxious. Here are some tips for talking them off the ledge.
  10. Stock Analysis

    The Safest Stocks You Can Invest in Right Now

    These stocks are likely to hold up better than others in a bear market, but there's a twist.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
  2. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  3. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  4. Benchmark Crude Oil

    Benchmark crude oil is crude oil that serves as a pricing reference, ...
  5. PT (Perseroan Terbatas)

    An acronym for Perseroan Terbatas, which is Limited Liability ...
  6. Ltd. (Limited)

    An abbreviation of "limited," Ltd. is a suffix that ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!