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Texas Companies Keeping Eyes on Colorado’s New Fracking Battle

Colorado voters will decide in November whether to significantly limit new drilling

An oil pump jack in Colorado in 2010.

In Colorado, voters will soon decide whether to significantly limit oil and gas drilling near homes and businesses, a brewing battle with ramifications for Texas companies and, possibly, the state’s own economy.

Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Woodlands-based Anadarko Petroleum, and Houston’s Noble Energy are among the top drillers in Colorado. That state’s oil and gas conservation commission says the upcoming ballot measure would block new drilling on more than half of the state’s land. 

Naturally, those Texas companies have a stake in the outcome.

Robert Thibault, an attorney with the Haynes and Boone law firm in Denver who specializes in the energy sector, says it’s not just Houston drillers that would be impacted.

“You have service companies based in Houston that have significant operations here,” he says. “You have financial groups, private equity groups, that have significant investments in Colorado that would be directly affected as well.”

Texas is already a presence in the debate over the measure: Anadarko has poured millions into a Colorado political campaign opposing the new drilling limits.

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