BizWest’s Energy Summit to explore sector’s downturn

Energy SummitNorthern Colorado’s energy economy has taken its fair share of hits in the past year. Low commodity prices have prompted layoffs at energy companies along the Front Range, with Weld County particularly hard hit.

Weld produces about 90 percent of the state’s oil and about one-third of Colorado’s natural gas. A booming energy sector over the past decade has brought enormous wealth to the state and to Weld in particular, with low unemployment, increasing housing prices and low hotel vacancies. The energy sector also has helped Greeley’s industrial real estate market, as energy companies competed with dairies and cannabis operations for space.

But times — and fortunes — have changed. In addition to layoffs, many energy companies are selling assets or merging with other companies. At the same time, restrictive ballot measures are proposed for the November election, even as the Colorado Supreme Court struck down fracking moratoria or bans.

Where the energy economy is headed will be the subject of BizWest’s fourth annual Energy Summit, scheduled for July 20 at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland. Among the topics:

Economic Report Card: Northern Colorado and the Energy Downturn: How are low energy prices affecting the Northern Colorado economy? A panel of experts will discuss the impact of job cuts and lower energy production on all aspects of the regional economy, and we’ll examine where commodity prices might be heading.

Emerging Mergers (& Acquisitions): The distressed energy economy is prompting many companies to seek merger partners, to sell their businesses or acquire other assets. What are the drivers of this trend, and what do companies need to know when pursuing a deal?

On Track: Transload facilities provide connections between rail and truck transportation —driven to a great extent by the energy sector. We’ll examine trends in transloading, including what’s here and what’s coming. This is a huge part of the energy sector’s expense and affects their bottom line.

Energy and Public Policy: Energy production is influenced by many factors, including ballot measures, Supreme Court rulings, local legal issues, land-use regulations and public opinion.  We’ll provide a panel discussion exploring what’s happened, what’s proposed and what it all means.

Energy remains an integral part of the state’s economy, driving more than $30 billion a year in economic impact and employing 100,000, according to data compiled by the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business.

Visit to learn more about the Energy Summit and how to keep abreast of changes in this important sector.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or via email at


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