Forecast: Shale oil, gas to support 121,000 Colorado jobs by 2020

Shale oil and natural-gas drilling has created 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in Colorado and will support 121,000 jobs here by 2020, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday.

Shale oil and gas also will generate $1.4 billion in state and local government revenue this year and may generate $2.4 billion by 2020, according to a study by energy research firm IHS.

The number of jobs could grow even larger, to 175,000, by 2035, according to the study, which was commissioned by the chamber. The state could see over $63 billion in local and state government revenue through that year.

“This energy production will bring new private-sector jobs that will support Colorado families,´ said Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. “In addition, the billions in state and local revenue will help build better communities by supporting infrastructure and safety, as well as our educational institutions.”

The study shows that by 2015, shale and unconventional oil and gas drilling will generate 2.5 million jobs nationwide; by 2020, 3 million, and by 2035, 3.5 million.

In 2012, shale oil and gas led to $62 billion in tax revenue nationwide. Shale energy development through 2035 could contribute more than $2.5 trillion in tax revenue, about half of which goes to the federal government.

The energy industry also will invest more than $5.1 trillion in energy development nationwide through 2035, according to the study.

The study is one of a series of reports commissioned by the chamber to show the economic impact of shale energy. The Chamber joined the American Petroleum Institute, American Chemistry Council, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and Natural Gas Supply Association to sponsor the study.

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