Blog Post

The Next Phase of the Project

Feb 19, 2014 | Daniel Raimi

After traveling through eight states, visiting 10 major oil and gas plays, and interviewing hundreds of experts, the travels for the first phase of our Shale Public Finance project have come to an end. Now we will carefully analyze what we heard and review a number of other key data sources, and prepare reports presenting the major findings of our research.

A drilling rig in the distance in Weld County, Colo.

As we move into the next phase of this project, some general impressions arise after touring the nation’s oil and gas fields:

  • No two places are alike. Even within a single oil or gas play, the impact on local public finances can vary substantially from county to county or city to city. What’s more, different layers of government can experience dramatically different effects depending on local policies. We will explore some of these unique situations in our forthcoming case studies, where we dive into the detailed situations in a few regions.
  • State policies vary substantially. Each state has its own way of collecting revenue from oil and gas production, and each state allocates those revenues according to its own rules and formulas. In one forthcoming report, we will describe in detail how states collect revenue from oil and gas production and how that revenue is allocated, and compare across the variety of states with intuitive and standardized metrics.
  • Partnerships with oil and gas companies are often used to meet service needs that arise from development. In some regions, road maintenance agreements between local governments and oil and gas companies are common, and operators repair damage they cause to local roadways. In other regions, such agreements do not appear to exist at all. We will explore in detail the beneficial effects of these agreements for local governments and try to understand why they are common in some regions and not others.

If you would like to be notified by email when we begin publishing our findings, please fill out this form.

This research was carried out at the Duke University Energy Initiative with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.