Dougher: ‘Stunning reversal of fortune’ in oil industry

LOVELAND – The oil and gas industry in Colorado has seen a “stunning reversal of fortune,” according to Rayola Dougher, senior economist with the American Petroleum Institute.

Speaking at the Business Report’s inaugural Energy Summit at The Ranch in Loveland on Tuesday, Dougher called oil production in Colorado in recent years a “strong turnaround.”

Oil production here has tripled, Dougher said, and four of the top 10 oil fields in the country are located in Colorado. This is due in part to the production of shale plays like the one in the Denver-Julesberg basin.

Shale development in the U.S. is a $73 billion per year industry, Dougher said, and the benefits of shale development are often passed onto the everyday consumer in the form of energy cost savings.

The average family saves about $926 annually on energy costs because of shale, and in Colorado, energy bills are about 23 percent lower than the rest of the country because of the state’s shale production and use.

Now is a crucial time for the oil and gas industry, Dougher said.

“We are at juncture of tech and policy and we can make a big difference…for generations to come,” she said. Even though the technology that makes hydraulic fracturing possible has been around since 1947, recent developments in the technology have enabled its use in more areas and by more producers.

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