IS-82 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2018-2019


The next edition of our annual Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities report is ready for download. This edition is based primarily on 2018 production data, with some additional information from 2019, and provides a comprehensive overview of Colorado’s energy and mineral resource production. 36 pages. Digital PDF download. IS-82D

From the Executive Summary:

Colorado produced several mineral and energy-related commodities in 2018. The top commodities produced in Colorado, in terms of production value, include oil, natural gas, coal, industrial gases (carbon dioxide and helium), gold, molybdenum, cement, sand and gravel, and crushed stone. The total value of mineral and energy fuels production in Colorado for 2018 is estimated to be $19.19 billion. … Oil and natural gas production accounted for 87% of Colorado’s total mineral and energy production value in 2018.

The total estimated value of oil and natural gas production in 2018 is $16.77 billion. Colorado oil and natural gas production remains higher than historical values and production values have increased from 2016 due to slightly higher prices and an increase in demand. According to the U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Information Agency (EIA), Colorado has the sixth largest reserves of natural gas and eighth largest proven oil reserves in the U.S. The estimated value of Colorado coal production in 2018 is $618 million. The overall decreasing trend in coal production is due primarily to the increased use of natural gas and renewable energy nationwide. Colorado is the 11th largest coal producer in the U.S. with both underground and surface mines currently in operation west of the continental divide.

Nonfuel mineral production includes metals, aggregate (e.g. sand and gravel, crushed stone), and industrial minerals. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the total value of Colorado’s production of nonfuel minerals in 2018 is $1.38 billion. Colorado is the third largest gold producer in the U.S. Two Colorado mines continue to produce molybdenum and the state was the second largest producer of this metal in 2018 behind Arizona. Molybdenum is produced as a byproduct during copper mining in Arizona. Although Colorado has been a producer in the past, there was no uranium mining in Colorado in 2018. Continued low uranium prices account for the lack of mining.

As in 2017, carbon dioxide produced in Colorado is used primarily for enhanced oil recovery in the Permian Basin oil fields of Texas and New Mexico. The production value estimate for 2018 is $428 million. Helium is produced in Cheyenne County and other areas in Colorado, however, production estimates from these facilities are not available. Severance taxes are state taxes collected on companies who produce nonrenewable resources including oil, gas, coal, molybdenum, and gold. Energy and mining companies that extract these resources pay severance as well as other taxes including income, sales, and property taxes. A portion of the severance tax funds is distributed to counties, municipalities, and school districts. Severance tax funds are also used to support programs within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as well as the CGS.