By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – October 9, 2014
The biggest concentration of oil industry jobs in Colorado isn’t in the Front Range or Western Slope oil and gas fields. It is in the office towers of downtown Denver.
About 9,800 people are working for the industry in Denver — 60 percent more than in Weld County, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business study released Thursday.
“While oil and gas production is concentrated in a few counties, we saw impacts across the state, but the benefits in Denver were really surprising,” said Brian Lewandowski, a study co-author.
The study, commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, calculated that 31,900 people work in the industry, which pumped $126.5 billion into the state’s economy between 2008 and 2012.
The industry also generated more than $410.3 million in 2012 property taxes, severance taxes and federal mineral lease distributions in Colorado, the study calculated.
Oil and gas production activity is concentrated in 38 of the state’s 64 counties — with 88 percent of the production in Weld, Garfield, La Plata, Rio Blanco and Montezuma counties.
Weld County, scene of the most sustained drilling in the state, accounted for 43 percent of the state’s 2012 production worth $3.7 billion, according to the study.
That activity yielded Weld $55.1 million in tax revenues.
Denver accounted for zero production in 2012, the study said.
Still, Denver received $17.9 million in oil industry-related corporate, personal sales, commercial and personal property taxes, the CU report estimated.