Colorado Oil and Gas Exploration

Colorado Oil and Gas Exploration History

Colorado oil and gas exploration originated in the Front Range of the state, as this is where the first wells were developed. The wells had been drilled to provide a sufficient amount of oil, which would serve the locals effectively. The Denver Basin, also known as the Julesburg Basin is the original drilling area that was first discovered. Exploration for oil and gas in Colorado has expanded over the recent years as many companies developed and settled in the Front Range area of the state in a bid to make the most from the oil fields.

Historical Oil and Gas Production in Colorado

In the Rocky Mountains area, the first commercially successful oil well was drilled near the city of Canon City, Colorado. This well was drilled in 1862 into the Canyon City-Florence Field which was drilled in an areas which has surface seeps of oil caused by fractures of the Pierre Shale.

In the rich history of oil production in Colorado, the first historical oil exploration well in the Denver Basin was developed in 1881. This oil discovery in Colorado led to the development of other high performing wells that are currently producing. Colorado has an expansive network of petroleum potential areas that are able to provide solutions to the oil industry. The Florence Canon City oil field is among the oldest and the high performing oil fields of all time in Colorado. According to the Oil & Gas Journal, the Florence project has produced more than 300,000 Barrels of oil as of March 2011.

This oil production is primarily from the Cretaceous Pierre Shale which is at a total depth of less than 4,000 feet.

Current Oil and Gas Production in Colorado 

Colorado Oil Exploration

Illustration of an Oil Drilling Rig of the State of Colorado

In Colorado, oil production is still very much alive and according to some data, monthly oil production over the past few years has been near and above 3 Million barrels per month.

Gas production is massively increasing due to an increase in the number of wells that are being drilled into various Shale plays such as the Gothic Shale in Colorado.

Major Oil Reservoirs in Colorado

The Greeley reservoir in Denver basin is one among the major reservoirs which can be able to produce a large amount of oil at any given time. The Wattenberg reservoir makes the list of the most reliable reservoirs in the state of Colorado. This is because the reservoir can be able to supply the commodity all year round and in the same constant capacity. The fields of Lambert are also very instrumental in producing oil and making sure that the supply chain does not go below the threshold standards.

Gothic Shale Play – Most of the Gothic Shale wells are drilled in Montezuma County Colorado, which is in the Southeast portion of the Paradox Basin. With several wells drilled in Colorado, one of the most significant wells in the Gothic Shale came online with a gas production rate of 5,700 MCF per day.

Niobrara Shale – The Niobrara Shale is a relatively new shale formation, which claims Yuma County, Colorado and Weld County, Colorado as part of the core Niobrara Formation.

Colorado Oil and Gas Regulatory Agencies

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are at the helm of registering the companies which come in to embark on the drilling process. The agency plays to the favor of the natives since it manages the fields and makes sure that the environment is maintained at a good and required standard. More information on the agency can be found below.

Additional Colorado Oil and Gas Resources:

ADAMS COUNTY 303-654-6020  
ALAMOSACOUNTY 719-589-6681
ARAPAHOE COUNTY 303-795-4665
BACA COUNTY 719-523-4372
BENT COUNTY 719-456-2009
BOULDER COUNTY 303-441-3530
CHEYENNE COUNTY 719-767-5685
CROWLEY COUNTY 719-267-4643 ext. 3
DELTA COUNTY 970-874-2150
DENVER COUNTY 720-865-8400
DOLORES COUNTY 970-677-2385
DOUGLAS COUNTY 303-660-7446
ELBERT COUNTY 303-621-3101
FREMONT COUNTY 719-276-7310
GARFIELD COUNTY 970-945-2377 ext. 2
GRAND COUNTY 970-725-3347 Assessor’s Office
GUNNISON COUNTY 970-641-2038
HUERFANO COUNTY 719-738-1250 C.A. MacMillan
JACKSON COUNTY 970-723-4334
KIOWA COUNTY 719-438-5521
KIT CARSON COUNTY 719-346-8638
LA PLATA COUNTY 970-382-6296
LARIMER COUNTY 970-498-7860
LAS ANIMAS COUNTY 719-846-2295
LINCOLN COUNTY 719-743-2358
LOGAN COUNTY 970-522-2797
MESA COUNTY 970-244-1679
MOFFAT COUNTY 970-824-9104
MONTEZUMA COUNTY 970-565-3728 ext. 102 or 103
MONTROSE 970-249-3753
MORGAN COUNTY 970-542-3521
OTERO COUNTY 719-456-2940 Margaret Vigil
OURAY COUNTY 970-325-4961
PARK COUNTY 719-836-4333
PHILLIPS COUNTY 970-854-3131
PITKIN COUNTY 970-920-5180
PROWERS COUNTY 719-336-8011
PUEBLO COUNTY 719-583-6520
RIO BLANCO COUNTY 970-878-5068
RIO GRANDE COUNTY 719-657-3334
ROUTT COUNTY 970-870-5556
SAN MIGUEL COUNTY 970-728-3954
SEDGWICK COUNTY 970-474-2531
WELD COUNTY 970-353-3840 ext. 5
YUMA COUNTY 970-332-5809


Weekly Colorado Oil and Gas Report – Visit Link

Colorado Orphan Well List – Visit Link

Colorado Hydraulic Fracking Information – Visit Link 1  Visit Link 2 

Guide for Colorado Mineral Rights and Surface Owners – Visit Link