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Colorado, Oklahoma shale leaders, industry says

State governors among those mulling future of oil and gas drilling.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Some U.S. states reviewing oil and gas developments are among the world leaders in terms of shale production, energy industry group says. Photo by David Gaylor/Shutterstock
Some U.S. states reviewing oil and gas developments are among the world leaders in terms of shale production, energy industry group says. Photo by David Gaylor/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Oil and natural gas production from emerging U.S. shale states, Colorado and Oklahoma, rivals some Latin American countries, an industry group said.

The American Petroleum Institute estimates Colorado, with an average natural gas production rate of 4.45 billion cubic feet per day, would rank No. 19 in the world in terms of production, outpacing Venezuela, and is already a Top 10 domestic producer.

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"Colorado isn't just a national leader – it's a global leader," Tracee Bentley, executive director of API member Colorado Petroleum Council, said in a statement.

Colorado's government in February endorsed recommendations set forth by an oil and gas task force that gave more input to local officials on large-scale drilling operations, though it kept some local control over energy off the table.

The task force was proposed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in November as a way to reach a compromise between communities and the oil and gas industry.

For Oklahoma, its gas production rate of 5.15 billion cubic feet per day means it would be the 18th largest producer in the world while oil production of around 315,000 barrels per day would place it at 31st among oil-producing nations.

Energy consultant Wood Mackenzie said Oklahoma shale was on par with the Eagle Ford basin in Texas and the Bakken shale in North Dakota with production expected to pass 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020.

Oklahoma is the No. 5 oil producer in the nation. Wood Mackenzie said investments in the region should top $4 billion for 2015.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has expressed concern about the increase in the number of earthquakes tied loosely to the oil and gas industry in her state. Last week, she signed measures aimed at reforming state tax credits for the wind energy sector. When exemptions were conceived, wind was still a pioneering industry, but now "Oklahoma's wind industry is among the strongest in the nation," she said.

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