By Catherine Traywick
Drilling applications declined by more than a third in 2019, while permit approvals fell by half, according to data from the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. Still, production rose, reaching an average 514,000 barrels a day, a record, the Energy Information Administration reported.
It still may be too early to feel the full effect of the new regulations, as some explorers built up a substantial backlog of drilling permits prior to the rule change, giving themselves room to keep pumping in the near-term. But the first hints of an eventual slowdown may lie in the monthly data. December production in the state fell 4.5%, the biggest monthly drop since January 2019.