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IS-83 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2019-2020

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The next edition of our annual Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities report is ready for download. This edition is based primarily on 2019 production data, with some additional information from 2020, and provides a comprehensive overview of Colorado’s energy and mineral resource production. 38 pages. Digital PDF download. IS-83D.

From the Executive Summary:

Several mineral and energy-related commodities are produced in Colorado. In 2019, the top commodities produced 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 estimated total value of mineral and energy fuels production in Colorado for 2019 is $18.03 billion, slightly lower than the 2018 estimate of $19.19 billion. … Oil and natural gas production accounted for ~84.4% of Colorado’s total mineral and energy production value in 2019. Estimated mineral and energy production values for 1994 through 2019.

The total estimated value of Colorado oil and natural gas production in 2019 is $15.21 billion. 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. Colorado has the sixth largest proven natural gas reserves and eighth largest proven oil reserves in the U.S. The estimated value of Colorado coal production in 2019 is $602 million. The overall decreasing trend in coal production is due primarily to the increased use of natural gas and renewable energy resources nationwide. Colorado dropped from the 11th largest coal producer in the U.S. in 2018 to the 13th largest producer in 2019 with both underground and surface mines currently in operation west of the continental divide.

Non-fuel mineral production includes metals, aggregate (e.g., sand and gravel, crushed stone), and industrial minerals (gypsum, nahcolite) and gases (carbon dioxide, helium). The total value of Colorado’s production of non-fuel minerals in 2019 is $1.79 billion. Colorado is the third largest gold producer in the U.S., behind Nevada and Alaska, based on the total 2019 production from a single mine. Two Colorado mines continue to produce molybdenum and the state was the second largest producer of this metal in 2019 behind Arizona. Molybdenum is produced as a by-product during copper mining in Arizona. Although Colorado has been a producer in the past, there was no uranium mining in Colorado in 2019. Continued low uranium prices account for the lack of mining, however, several property leases and exploration activities continued in 2019 and 2020.

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 2019 is $426 million. Helium is produced in Cheyenne County and other areas in Colorado, however, production estimates from these facilities are not available.