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Rocky Road for Colorado Drillers as Regulatory Clampdown Looms

  • Companies only focused on Denver area saw muted gains
  • Pair of 2017 explosions triggered heightened safety concerns
 Oil operations in Colorado. 

 Oil operations in Colorado. 

Photographer: Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post

Months after a pair of deadly explosions in the Colorado oil patch, drilling stocks remain hobbled by the specter of a regulatory clampdown.

Explorers like Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. and SRC Energy Inc., which are focused entirely on an oil and gas field northeast of Denver known as the D-J/Niobrara Basin, aren’t fully benefiting from soaring energy prices because of concerns about their future freedom to drill. Shares of those operators are undervalued, having gained only half as much in the last six months as geographically diverse drillers, said Welles Fitzpatrick of Suntrust Robinson Humphrey Inc.