In Colorado, we hold approximately 109,000 net acres, located primarily in Adams and Arapahoe counties targeting Colorado’s Niobrara formation. We are assessing the potential of this acreage and will continue to gather data from test wells.

We work to be a good neighbor and citizen in the communities where we operate, purchasing many goods and services locally, and we also encourage our suppliers to buy locally when possible. This approach stimulates local economic development and creates long lasting benefits to communities.

Across the U.S., each state has regulatory authority over oil and gas operations. Colorado has some of the most comprehensive and stringent oil and gas regulations in the country. Every aspect of oil and gas activity has regulations concerning site selection, permitting, down-hole activities, hydraulic fracturing and site reclamation. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is the state agency with the most responsibility for establishing standards and enforcing regulations for oil and natural gas exploration and production. In addition to COGCC, several other agencies play a role in regulating the industry’s activities in the state, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which regulates air emissions.

In 2016 ConocoPhillips became the only oil and gas company to achieve the Environmental Leadership Program Gold Status, with the CDPHE recognizing our multi-year high standards of performance.

  • Air: We are committed to reducing emissions from our activities and follow all applicable regulations. Since 2000, we have instituted a variety of programs to achieve emission reductions, including installing new automated flare-monitoring alarms. Over the past five years, such steps have significantly reduced or prevented the release of methane emissions from our facilities in Colorado.

  • Water: Water is integral to our operations. It is also an essential natural resource for communities, ecosystems and economic development. Throughout our operations we look to conserve water where we can. When we do source freshwater in Colorado, we target deeper water sources that are not used by local farmers and communities. We explore innovative ways to economically reduce freshwater use or recycle used water. In 2014, we invested $3 million to establish the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST (Water-Energy Education, Science and Technology) at Colorado School of Mines. The center focuses on research and education that promote joint sustainability of unconventional energy production and water resources. We conduct baseline groundwater sampling to assure we have no impact on drinking water aquifers.

Our Global Onshore Well Management Principles apply throughout the life cycle of a well, from discussions with local communities before drilling site selection to the permanent closure of a well and final restoration of the land.


Colorado’s oil and gas industry directly employed approximately 50,000 people and supported more than 111,000 jobs in 2013. The industry also provides $3.8 billion in total labor income and $29 billion in economic output annually.

Additionally, we purchase many goods and services locally, and we also encourage our suppliers to buy locally, when possible. This approach stimulates local economic development and creates long lasting benefits to communities.

In 2013-14 ConocoPhillips:
  • Purchased goods and services from 184 businesses in Adams and 492 businesses in Arapahoe counties
  • Contracted with 188 companies with offices and employees in Colorado
  • Spent a total of $7.1 million on retail, services and travel with more than $2.8 million on local hotels and restaurants


We aim to create and maintain inclusive, authentic and mutually beneficial relationships with our stakeholders. These relationships are viewed as critical to our business success. We engage with our stakeholders early in the planning process to listen, learn and understand their values, needs and interests. We pride ourselves on serving as a responsible citizen where our employees live and work, contributing to the wellbeing of these communities through charitable giving, employee volunteerism, sponsorships and civic leadership. In 2009-2014 we:

  • Invested $8.9 million to universities in Colorado
  • Supported around 140 nonprofit organizations

We work with counties and cities where we operate in to establish balanced conditions to ensure the responsible development of the mineral resources within their respective jurisdictions.