Image courtesy of ErgoSum88/Wikimedia Commons.

Oil and natural gas development injected over $20 billion into Colorado’s economy in 2012 and supported nearly 94,00 jobs in the state, a new study commissioned by industry group American Petroleum Institute said.

The study, conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, shows that in 2012 oil and natural gas development created over $23 billion in state economic activity.

The energy sector also generated over $200 million for Colorado schools.

Although most oil and gas production happens in five counties new business activity in industries such as management, engineering and financial services was distributed across the state.

The spike in statewide business activities also created jobs that pay about double the state average, the study said.

Economic activity generated by the oil and natural gas sectors was examined in each of the state’s 64 counties. The report only studied upstream and midstream activities.

La Plata County, where a number of oil and gas projects are located, saw a $1.1 billion boost in economic activity associated with oil and natural gas development in 2012, the report estimates.

The county’s local energy industry directly supported 1,350 jobs, paid $116.7 million in wages and generated $12.6 million in tax revenues, including more than $3.5 million for public safety.

The oil and gas sectors also generated 48 percent of the property tax proceeds for the county’s Bayfield school district.

In 2012, the 31,900 direct oil and gas industry workers in Colorado earned $3.2 billion in labor income.

The industry generated over $410.3 million in 2012 statewide government revenue, including more than $141 million in county property taxes.


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