The gas and refining industry is often divided into three segments: Upstream,
which refers to the activities surrounding gas and oil exploration
and production; Midstream, refers to activities that move gas and oil
produced from production fields to processing facilities then on to final
consumers via pipelines, barges/tankers, and rail; and Downstream, refers to
refining and marketing activities.
The gas and refining industry touches every aspect of Colorado
The gas and refining industry touch every aspect of Colorado’s life. Colorado
is one among the main gas and oil producing states within the nation. In 2015,
Colorado was the fifth largest state producer of gas (1.7 trillion cubic
feet (TCF)), producing 6% of U.S. total, and therefore the seventh largest producer of
crude oil (8.3 million barrels), or almost 4% of U.S. total.1 Colorado has the third
largest gas reserves of any state, and output has doubled since 2001,
creating thousands of jobs and providing as well as billions in income and taxes. Though
production is localized to a couple of counties, tax income flows into the state general
fund and therefore the outflow impacts every citizen through investment in education,
transportation, and other government projects.
In Colorado, the primary commercially successful oiler was drilled in 1862 near
the city of Cañon City, Colorado into the Cañon City-Florence Field near surface
seeps of oil caused by fractures of the Pierre Shale. Colorado’s rich history of
oil has fathered the cultivation as well as of renowned research and academic institutions.
The Colorado School of Mines also as Colorado State University, University of Colorado
Boulder, and National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration labs as well as in Boulder all have an interest within the natural
gas and refining industry within the state as well as undertake extensive research on the industry,
and, often, add collaboration with the industry. The industry supports
education as well as with almost $180 million from tax revenues supporting
local universities and faculty districts.