Special Report

The 10 Most Oil-Rich States

7. Colorado
> Proved oil reserves:
890 million barrels
> Total crude oil production: 95 million barrels (7th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 2 (tied-17th most)
> Unemployment rate: 5.0% (15th lowest)

Five new oil field discoveries in 2012 and 400 million barrels of extensions in 2012 and 2013 more than doubled Colorado’s proven reserves to 896 million barrels, the seventh most in the country. Colorado’s Wattenberg oil field is the fourth largest in the country by proven reserves. From 2000 through 2014, oil production in Colorado increased 415%, the third highest increase in the country over that time. Over the same period, the share of the state’s workforce employed in mining and logging more than doubled to 1.4%, the 10th largest share in the country.

ALSO READ: States With the Fastest (and Slowest) Growing Economies

6. Oklahoma
> Proved oil reserves:
1.0 billion barrels
> Total crude oil production: 124 million barrels (5th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 5 (tied-5th most)
> Unemployment rate: 4.5% (12th lowest)

Oklahoma’s proven reserves increased 67% from 2000 through 2013, the sixth highest growth in the country. Recent growth in proven reserves has been driven by extensions to existing fields, which contributed nearly 700 million barrels from 2011 through 2013, one of the largest increases in the country in that time. Since 2009, state crude oil production has increased 86.5%, one of the larger increases in the country. Increased oil production also helped drive economic growth in Oklahoma in 2013, contributing to more than half of the state’s 2.8% GDP growth rate. The strong performance from the state’s energy sector may have helped lower the unemployment rate to 4.5%, below the national rate of 6.2%.

5. New Mexico
> Proved oil reserves:
1.2 billion barrels
> Total crude oil production: 123 million barrels (6th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 2 (tied-17th most)
> Unemployment rate: 6.5% (15th highest)

From 2008 through 2013, New Mexico’s proven oil reserves increased by more than 500 million barrels, or 79%, to 1.2 billion barrels, the fifth most in the country. The increases in reserves is likely attributable to fracking and horizontal drilling, which can help put previously unusable oil fields in play. In fact, extensions have contributed roughly 600 million barrels of oil to the state’s reserves in the five years ending in 2013. Increasing reserves and crude oil production have also led to a growing mining and logging industry. From 2005 through 2014, the share of the state’s labor force employed in that sector increased 1.5 percentage points, or more than 10,000 jobs.

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