IS-78 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2014-2015


The CGS is pleased to resume publication of the annual Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities report after a hiatus of seven years. The report was last issued in 2008 and consisted of extensive discussions and graphics of all components of the mineral and energy industries. This report, based on 2014 production data, is a slightly condensed version of the earlier publications. 36 pages. Digital PDF download. IS-78D

Due to higher prices and production, especially for oil, and a generally improving economy in 2014, several sectors of the Colorado minerals and energy resources industries enjoyed a year of growth. Since 2002, the value of mineral production in the state has more than quadrupled. The CGS estimates the total value of 2014 mineral and energy fuels production in Colorado to be $18.8 billion, a 21% increase over the 2013 value of $15.5 billion, and over four times higher than the 2002 value.

The vast majority of the increase in the value of Colorado’s mineral production over the last decade has come from the oil and gas sector. This is largely due to technological advances and increased use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency (EIA), Colorado has the 8th largest proven oil reserves in the U.S., and the 6th largest reserves of natural gas. The total estimated value of oil and natural gas production in 2014 is $14.8 billion. Despite a rapid drop in prices in the last half of 2014, this is an increase of 24% compared to 2013 ($11.9 billion). Significant production increases from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in the Niobrara Formation, largely in Weld County, account for the higher values. Colorado is the 11th largest coal producer in the U.S., with both underground and surface mines currently in operation on the Western Slope.

Non-fuel mineral production — including metals, industrial minerals, and construction materials — posted a 10% increase in revenue. Increased production of molybdenum, sand and gravel, and crushed stone aggregate accounted for the increase. With 2014 production of 51 million pounds of molybdenum from two mines, Colorado is the largest molybdenum producer in the U.S. Although just one mine in the state reported gold production in 2014, Colorado is the third largest producer of the metal in the U.S.