Fracking: Good News for Colorado

The natural gas boom in the United States offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen American energy security by drastically reducing our dependence on imported oil, while at the same time creating new U.S. jobs and industries.

Daniel Poneman, U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary

State Overview

Home to Denver and the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is enjoying a new wave of prosperity due to hydraulic fracturing in areas along the Niobrara Shale Play. The oil industry has partnered successfully with the agricultural industry in Weld County, CO, revitalizing the community while allowing it to maintain its ties to the land.  Between 2003 and 2012, oil and gas accounted for 52% of the county’s total property valuation—helping raise property tax revenue to $110 million per year. In 2012, the oil and gas industry contributed a total of $29.6 billion to Colorado’s economy, supporting 111,500 Colorado jobs. That same year, Colorado state and local governments, school districts, and special interests received a total of $1.6 billion in revenues from the industry. Oil and natural gas keeps the economy moving, schools competitive, hospitals open, and police forces strong in Colorado.

  • Colorado produced 63.2 million barrels of oil in 2013. That represents a 28 percent jump from 20121 and the numbers continue to grow. 

  • The oil and natural gas industry supported 6.7 percent of Colorado’s total employment in 2011.2

  • Labor income generated by the oil and natural gas industry in Colorado was responsible for 8.1 percent of the state’s total in 2011.2

Local Stories

Communities like those in Weld County, Colorado are experiencing many economic benefits from shale gas production and are preparing for the long-term impacts of hydraulic fracturing. See how the industry invests back into this Colorado community. 

  • Communities like those in Weld County, Colorado are experiencing many economic benefits from shale gas production and are preparing for the long-term impacts of hydraulic fracturing. See how the industry invests back into this Colorado community. 

  • Hear what a Colorado geologist has to say about fracking's 65-year history.

  • Colorado, a nature-lover’s paradise, has some of the strongest oil and gas regulations in the nation. Find out from Weld County, Colorado residents and regulators how the industry works to protect the environment.

  • Residents of Weld County, Colorado discuss the benefits of oil and natural gas development in their communities. Learn from people on the front lines of fracking how the industry partners with the community to create a profitable future for Colorado.

Did You Know?

  • The Niobrara Shale Play is estimated to contain 2 billion barrels of oil3

  • From 2007 to 2012, marketed natural gas production rose 38 percent in Colorado3

  • Average household energy costs in Colorado are 23 percent less than the national average, primarily due to historically lower natural gas prices in the state4.