GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) The local natural gas industry is expanding due to new technology and geological discoveries.
Industry experts said they have started drilling shale on the Western Slope in recent years, which scientists originally thought would not be fruitful.
Now nine companies are successfully drilling shale locally.
"All of them have had very strong results," said David Ludlam, of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. "So it's really been the last five years when we've determined that the Mancos Shale is going to be an important part of our economy in the future."
Ludlam also cites advancements in technology for the creation of safer communities near drill rigs.
"Recent technologies that we employed in the field to reduce air emissions, to reduce our impact on the surface, to reduce the amount of time it takes to drill a well," he said. "Technology has really been an important driver in reducing impacts to communities."
Ludlam predicts Western Colorado will also be critical in the future of the liquefied gas industry and will a some point start supplying this resource globally.