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It’s that time of year. With the Christmas holiday around the corner, it is customary to put together the “wish list” of items one wishes to see underneath the tree. As for the oil and gas industry, there are plenty of things that made 2016 a difficult year. See below for my “wish list” that would make 2017 a success.
Budget Discipline: The business community absorbed more than $2 billion in tax raised during two special sessions this year. Then came the news Louisiana’s budget was still “short” about $600 million. With another fiscal legislative session looming, it is my hope that a serious look is given at the state’s spending practices and priorities. This year’s focus was trying to grab as much revenue as possible, without examining what the revenue was actually funding. Hopefully, the lesson has been learned and the other side of the ledger will be reviewed.
Energy Leaders Respond to New District Court Ruling on Coastal Litigation, Gov. Edwards’ Renewed Calls for More Lawsuits
BATON ROUGE, LA (Nov. 10, 2016)— Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) Acting President Gifford Briggs and Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) President Chris John today issued the following joint statement in response to 24th Judicial District Court Judge Stephen Enright’s decision to grant a motion for a new trial in the lawsuits involving Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Jefferson Parish and numerous oil and gas exploration and production companies over alleged violations of coastal use permits:
It is difficult to decide where first to begin in response to John Barry’s latest rambling in The Advocate. I suppose it makes sense to begin where he erroneously calls out my association, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and a 1989 report we commissioned and issued. This isn’t the first time Barry has made this claim or fabricated conversations with industry. My aim is to make it his last.
The global decline in crude oil prices over the past year has dealt a blow to Louisiana and our coastal communities, but there are signs of hope as 2017 approaches. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) will reach a record high next year. Considering the massive state budget cuts and unusually high unemployment figures we have seen lately, this is a jolt of good news we can all appreciate.
According to the EIA, GOM production is expected to average 1.79 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, reaching a peak of 1.91 million bpd in December 2017, even if crude oil prices remain low. That’s an increase of 10 percent from the predicted average of 1.63 million bpd in 2016 and 24 percent higher than 2015. By 2017, oil production in the GOM is forecast to represent 21 percent of total U.S. crude production, up from 18 percent this year.
This is a letter to the people of Louisiana and our dear colleagues in industry and their families and friends. I know this finds many of you in pain all along south Louisiana. Images of gutted homes and its contents stacked along the street bring about one emotion: heartbreak. This comes at a time where industry has hit an all-time low. We feel your pain.
While the industry remains groggy and knocked down; it is not out. It never will be. The reason is simple: the industry is made from the people of this great state. Too many anti-oil and gas people think the industry is this faceless corporation that does not care. That is, simply, not the case. The industry is you and your families. These are the very families who responded to the needs of their neighbors by taking matters into their own hands and conducting historic rescues. Without your “get it done” attitude, the industry is nothing. Louisiana and the oil and gas industry has always responded from the depths. Louisiana will be back and so will the jobs and joy of being one of the world’s greatest energy producers.