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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Colorado's Largest Energy Companies Optimistic, Despite Low Oil Prices

CCO Creative Commons

Even though oil and gas drillers have suffered through about three years of low oil prices, some of Colorado’s largest energy companies still seem optimistic.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Anadarko Petroleum pumped 33 million barrels of oil in the state last year, making them the state’s largest driller. 

One reason the company continues to pump is because it owns a lot of mineral rights. Craig Walters, vice president of operations for Anadarko, said most companies lease the minerals from whomever owns them and then drill.

Anadarko’s unique situation goes back more than 150 years, to when the Union Pacific Railroad was granted the land and mineral rights around its rail lines in the West. In 2000, Anadarko acquired those minerals.

Those rights cut through one of the most productive oil plays in the U.S. - the Denver-Julesburg basin in Colorado. And even though Anadarko lost billions at the beginning of the oil downturn, it is a big enough company to withstand the losses.