IS-84 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2020-2021


The next edition of our annual Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities report is ready for download. This edition is based primarily on 2020 production data, with some additional information from 2021, and provides a comprehensive overview of Colorado’s energy and mineral resource production. 35 pages. Digital PDF download. IS-84D

From the Executive Summary:

The Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) estimates the total value of 2020 mineral and energy fuels production in Colorado to be $12.07 billion, lower than the 2019 estimate of $18.02 billion. In 2020, the top commodities produced in terms of production value include: oil, natural gas, gold, coal, sand and gravel, cement, industrial gases (carbon dioxide and helium), molybdenum, and crushed stone. Oil and natural gas production accounted for ~80.7% of Colorado’s total mineral and energy production value in 2020.

The total estimated value of Colorado oil and natural gas production in 2020 is $9.74 billion. Although 2020 oil production decreased in 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. Colorado has the seventh largest proven natural gas reserves and eighth largest proven oil reserves in the U.S. The estimated value of Colorado coal production in 2020 is $441 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 2020 with both underground and surface mines currently in operation west of the continental divide.

Non-fuel mineral production includes metals, aggregate, limestone, cement, industrial minerals (gypsum, nahcolite), and gases (carbon dioxide, helium). The total estimated value of Colorado’s production of non-fuel minerals in 2020 is $1.62 billion. Colorado is the third largest gold producer in the U.S., behind Nevada and Alaska, based on the total 2020 production from a single mine. Two Colorado mines continue to produce molybdenum and the state was the third largest producer of this metal in 2020 behind Utah and Arizona. Although Colorado has been a producer in the past, there was no uranium mine production in Colorado in 2020, however, several property leasing and exploration activities continued in 2020 and 2021.

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 2020 is $268 million. Helium is produced in Cheyenne County and other areas in Colorado, however, production estimates from these facilities are not available.