Why Usually Publicity-Shy Energy Companies Are Taking To The Airwaves In Colorado

A telling sign about rising domestic oil production in the United States: several energy companies are actually airing commercials, talking about their work, while simultaneously announcing they need new employees.

Take, for example, the new television ad that Houston-based Halliburton Co. HAL began airing in Colorado this week. It features Gabriela “Gabby” Arias, an immigrant who, like her father, is an engineer at Halliburton's Denver operations.

"My father brought our family here from Paraguay to give our family a better life,” Arias says in the 30-second ad. “Because of the opportunity that Halliburton gave me, I’m following in his footsteps.”

Help Wanted, Needed

The Halliburton media push comes a year after Anadarko Petroleum APC teamed up with Noble Energy NBL to form CRED – Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development – and began their own media campaign in support of controversial fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, measures in the state.

Related: 3 Sectors Expected To Benefit From The Oil-By-Rail Surge

Oil production in Colorado has grown dramatically, with the number of active oil wells in the state more than doubling in the last ten years – part of the overall U.S. energy boom.

And Halliburton officials say they hope the ads will attract qualified people to their company.

"Many other companies in the energy sector are currently hiring in Colorado, so there is a lot of competition for talent right now,” Emily Mir, Halliburton's director of communications and community initiatives told the energy industry-focused Fuel Fix web site.“We believe that if potential recruits know about the extraordinary people who already work for Halliburton in Colorado, we will be their first choice.”

A Media Call To Arms Over Fracking

Energy-related ads have been all over the Colorado airwaves in recent months, as the state geared up for a political battle over possible restrictions on fracking, a technique which uses water, gases and chemicals to fracture underground rock deposits and release trapped oil and natural gas.

Fracking was supposed to be on the ballot in Colorado during the November elections, but earlier this month, in a compromise brokered by several lawmakers, the fracking-related measures were withdrawn.

But some anti-fracking groups say they are already preparing for the next election cycle in 2016, which could end up meaning Coloradans will be dealing with energy-related advertising for years to come.

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