Oil estimate in northern Colorado pumps up job, revenue prospects

Oil Tank Battery in Weld County Colorado with protective liner

Oil Tank Battery in Weld County

By Steve Raabe – The Denver Post – Posted: 11/16/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

A dramatic increase in estimated oil in Colorado’s northern Front Range is likely to produce at least $50 million a year in new severance taxes for budget-strapped state and local governments.

And while direct employment from new drilling won’t be staggering, spinoff job creation will produce millions more in economic impact.

Anadarko Petroleum’s revised estimate of huge amounts of oil in the Wattenberg Field has set the industry abuzz with projections of a new petroleum boom.

Production of the oil by Anadarko and other energy firms will add hundreds of new jobs in Colorado and bolster oil severance taxes to record levels, analysts say.

Potential output of 55 million barrels a year from Anadarko’s 350,000 acres in the Wattenberg Field would almost triple the current production of oil in Colorado.

“This could profoundly impact Colorado, not only in jobs but in tax revenue for public finance, which has been severely strained,” said Brian Lewandowski, a research associate at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. “It’s a way that the ill effects of the economic slowdown can be buffered.”

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