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

    Top 3 Commodities Mutual Funds

    Get information about some of the most popular and best-performing mutual funds that are focused on commodity-related investments.
  2. Chart Advisor

    Agriculture Commodities Are In The Bear's Sights

    Agriculture stocks have experienced strong moves higher over recent weeks, but chart patterns on sugar, corn and wheat are suggesting the moves could be short lived.
  3. Budgeting

    How to Cost Effectively Spend on Baby Clothes

    Don't let your baby's wardrobe derail your budget. These top tips help you to save money and spend wisely on baby clothes.
  4. Personal Finance

    College Students are Failing Financial Literacy

    Financial trends among college students are a cause for concern, prompting a renewed emphasis on financial literacy.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    What Exactly Are Arbitrage Mutual Funds?

    Learn about arbitrage funds and how this type of investment generates profits by taking advantage of price differentials between the cash and futures markets.
  6. Investing News

    Ferrari’s IPO: Ready to Roll or Poor Timing?

    Will Ferrari's shares move fast off the line only to sputter later?
  7. Investing News

    Glencore Shares Surge in Hong Kong

    Shares of Glencore International, a leading multinational commodities and mining company, jumped by around 15% on London Stock Exchange, after the shares had gained about 71% earlier on the Hong ...
  8. Investing

    Have Commodities Bottomed?

    Commodity prices have been heading lower for more than four years, being the worst performing asset class of 2015 with more losses in cyclical commodities.
  9. Stock Analysis

    5 Cheap Dividend Stocks for a Bear Market

    Here are five stocks that pay safe dividends and should be at least somewhat resilient to a bear market.
  10. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

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!