Colorado Oil and Gas production
Add Colorado to the list of states – including Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania – that are experiencing firsthand the new domestic energy abundance brought on by tapping into America’s shale oil and natural gas regions.
Data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission suggest that the Mile High State produced more than 61 million barrels of oil last year, nearly matching the all-time high of roughly 62 million barrels set in 1956.
Colorado’s oil production growth is nothing short of astonishing. Output has doubled since 2009, with 20-25 percent increases in each of the last four years. Much of this new production comes from the Niobrara Shale region in the flat, eastern portion of the state.
Regardless of which is correct, the real significance is what this new abundance means for Colorado and for the country as a whole.
Last October new production from the Niobrara, along with the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian regions, helped the U.S. produce more oil domestically than we imported. That hadn’t happened since 1993. This new output is strengthening America’s energy security and providing a boost to the otherwise sluggish economy.
Those are well paying jobs, too. The industry paid $3.8 billion in labor income in 2012. The average wage of over $74, 800 is 49 percent higher than the state average for all industries.
Gas, Oil, and Water Production from Grand Valley, Parachute, Rulison, and Mamm Creek Fields in the Piceance Basin, Colorado: Open-File Report 2010-1110