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Gulf of Mexico
The birth of the offshore oil and gas industry occurred in November of 1947, when the first successful well drilled out of sight of land came in, bringing with it a whole new era of oil and gas exploration and production.
That first successful well was brought in by Kerr-McGee on November 14, 1947. The well was located 45 miles south of Morgan City in Ship Shoal Block 32 field. Other over-water drilling attempts had been made on the West Coast and in the Creole Field off the southwest coast of Louisiana, but the Kerr-McGee project was the first that was completely away from land.
From that one well, a tremendous industry has grown. Today, the offshore oil and gas industry has an economic impact of $44.3 billion for the state of Louisiana.
LMOGA is actively involved in many aspects of Gulf of Mexico activities on behalf of the industry in dealing with regulations that impact the Gulf and adjacent onshore operations.
Gulf of Mexico Advocacy & Community Relations
- LMOGA took the lead in creating the Gulf of Mexico Coalition in 1993, a coalition of business and industry across the gulf coast, to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program (GOMP) and work with federal agencies and individual states on cooperative, non-regulatory/volunteer efforts to improve the overall environment of the GOM. LMOGA continues to chair the Gulf of Mexico Business Council created in this process and, as a result, represents the Gulf Coast business community on the GOMP Policy Review Board.
- LMOGA consistently advocates for more access to federal lands in the Gulf of Mexico and more access to OCS areas of the U.S. and actively participates with industry coalitions toward this end. The association was instrumental in developing grass roots support for the opening of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas leasing.
- Louisiana remains the industry’s “gateway to the Gulf” and has historically and consistently advocated for increased oil and gas activity off the Louisiana coast and throughout the U.S. OCS. No state has more oil and gas activity off its coast and within its coastal zone. LMOGA continually works with state and federal officials to foster this positive working relationship the state has built since 1947 with the offshore industry. This has resulted in a broad oilfield service sector in south Louisiana, thousands of miles of pipelines stretching from the OCS into and through Louisiana, numerous natural gas processing plants and refineries, and thousands of offshore workers and offshore support employees residing in the state.
- LMOGA works closely with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator (LOSCO) and constantly monitors oil spill data and oil spill technology. We have historically worked with LMOGA members involved with the LOSCO and the NRDA process. We have worked and continue to work closely with the state in the development of reasonable oil spill legislation and regulations.
- LMOGA plays a critical industry role in emergency response in preparing for and responding to hurricane events (as well as other types of emergency response events). We remain one of the few industry sectors represented in the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center. During a hurricane event, the LMOGA staff is in constant communication with the governor, the secretaries of the Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness with respect to industry issues. We are also in regular contact with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- LMOGA has developed and updated economic studies which document the positive economic impacts of the OCS oil and gas industry to the state of Louisiana. We recently completed a 2011 study of the positive effects of both onshore and offshore oil and gas activity to the state.
- LMOGA has historically worked with the MMS (now BOEMRE) on regulatory issues affecting both Louisiana and OCS waters. We also represent Louisiana industry interests in BOEMRE policy and regulatory initiatives.
- LMOGA works closely with the state’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The CZM Program permits any activity along and off the Louisiana coast which has the potential to affect Louisiana’s coastal zone. The CZM Program also comments on the consistency of OCS projects and permits with respect to the state’s coastal resource protection and restoration efforts. LMOGA has worked, over the years, with the CZM Program to reduce oil and gas related wetland impacts resulting from industry activities. It has been estimated that industry impacts to wetlands in Louisiana have been reduced by 90 percent.
- LMOGA has worked closely with the state Rigs-to-Reefs Program, which allows companies to donate salvage oil and gas platforms to the state for use as artificial reefs.
- LMOGA created an OCS industry trade association workgroup in 1990 to facilitate communication and advocacy efforts among the numerous trade groups involved in offshore oil and gas issues.
- LMOGA worked closely with the Offshore Operators Committee to address issues surrounding the Breton Sound Class I air quality area. The concerns with air quality within 100 miles of the Breton Islands could have resulted in significantly more stringent air regulations in the OCS.
- LMOGA participated in the Offshore Ozone Study initiated by the MMS to determine the effect of offshore activities on the ozone levels of adjacent states. Again, new regulations resulting from this effort could have significantly increased the cost of operating on the OCS.
- LMOGA was instrumental in defeating legislation in Louisiana which would have greatly increased the cost of oil and gas related waste disposal, not only in Louisiana, but throughout the U.S. At the time, the exemption for oil and gas wastes included in the federal Hazardous Waste law was being challenged. The Louisiana legislation would have removed the exemption in the state law. There are numerous waste streams which are produced in the OCS which must be brought ashore and disposed of in coastal states.
- LMOGA has consistently supported efforts to improve LA. 1 and transportation links to Port Fourchon and other key OCS coastal supply base locations.
- LMOGA has been key in obtaining favorable tax treatment for equipment built and repaired within the state and transported to the OCS.
- LMOGA has successfully opposed efforts within Louisiana to enact taxes on oil and gas being transported from the OCS into and through Louisiana. These efforts date back to 1978 and continue up until the present (legislation was introduced in 2011).
- LMOGA intervened and worked closely with the Offshore Operators Committee to defend the industry in litigation seeking to overturn the state issuance of a general permit for discharges from oil and gas platforms within the territorial seas. Not only would discharges in Louisiana coastal waters be affected by the challenge, but the precedent could extend into the OCS.