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Agriculture and Energy Production Coexist at Colorado Ranch

On Art Guttersen’s 35,000-acre Colorado ranch are cows, horses, chickens—and active oil and gas operations.

Wellheads, tankless facilities and drilling rigs are strategically placed throughout his property, against the backdrop of green fields and distant, snowcapped Rocky Mountain peaks.

As his cows grazed nearby, Guttersen reflected on how energy development spared his multigenerational farm from being sold to developers.

“Chevron saved my ranch,” he said.

why it matters

Agriculture and energy production are essential industries.

Guttersen wants his ranch to serve as an example of how these sectors can work together to meet growing demands for both.

“Our ranch is better today with wells on it,” he said. “It’s no longer just a ranch. It has become a major producer for the economy.”

a good neighbor

Those visiting Guttersen’s ranch must abide by a series of rules: no smoking, littering or exceeding the 21 mph speed limit.

Likewise, Chevron has its own policies to help protect the environment. One way is by restoring the fields to their original condition after work in a certain area has concluded.

“Reclaiming the land helps protect the environment by taking the human element out of it and giving a habitat back to native species,” said Victoria Eliason, asset retirement superintendent.

“Being part of that process, where you’re seeing an area transition from an oil and gas producing site back to its native state, is really rewarding.”

all in the family 

The ranch has been in the Guttersen family for 85 years, although Art was the first to raise a family there.

In recent decades, he went from watching his children help around the farm to seeing his grandchildren learn to do the same.

more on that

Guttersen has been leasing his land to energy producers since the 1970s. Chevron gained exclusive rights to develop oil and natural gas from Guttersen Ranch through a comprehensive plan that was approved by the state in 2018.

Chevron helped develop the ranch by building powerlines, roadways and waterlines.

Chevron also worked to retire older equipment for newer, centralized infrastructure that helps protect the environment.

This approach allowed Chevron to strategically combine facility locations, using highline power and other innovative processes to reduce surface footprint by more than 95% and emissions by more than 90%.

His son Parker, now a married dad of three, continues to help out on the ranch, occasionally with a little backup from his own young children.

Guttersen said the line of succession that’s forming never would have been possible without Chevron.

“Ranching is a tough way to make a living,” he said. “Chevron came in and helped us maintain the lifestyle that we’re accustomed to, not only today but for future generations as well. We know their interests are the same as ours, which is to promote the best for our family, the environment and the state of Colorado.”

"Everybody wants to be a part of something good, and this is definitely something good." -Victoria Eliason, asset retirement superintendent 

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