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History of the Industry


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1868

1868 the beginning

The Beginning


The Louisiana Oil and Coal Company drilled a well about 15 miles west of Lake Charles in search of oil but was unsuccessful although it did reveal very extensive sulfur deposits.

1870

1870


A night watchman at an ice plant in Shreveport accidentally discovered natural gas emanating from a well drilled in search of artesian water when he struck a match. Gas from the well was piped to the plant to provide illumination--the first use in the state of the fuel that today heats the vast majority of Louisiana homes and places of business.

1901

1901

Sept. 21, 1901


The Heywood well six miles from Jennings was brought in, producing the first oil discovered in the state in commercial quantities and marking what is recognized as the birth of the industry in the state.

1906

1906


The Louisiana Legislature passed the first state oil and gas conservation law.

1906 Royal Petroleum 1st Refinery

1908

1908


The first natural gas pipeline was laid in Louisiana. It brought gas from the Caddo Field to Shreveport.

1909

1909


The new refinery in Baton Rouge (which is the Exxon refinery of today) went on stream. Today it is, in terms of capacity, among the largest oil refineries on the North American continent. This is also the year in which construction began on Louisiana’s first long-distance oil pipeline, which by 1910 was transporting crude oil from Caddo Parish to the Baton Rouge refinery.

1909 Standard Oil Service Station

1910

About 1910


The first over-water drilling in America occurred on Caddo Lake near Shreveport.

1913

1913


A major discovery occurred in Northwest Louisiana when the Bull Bayou Field was brought in.

1913 Bull Bayou

1916

1916


The well resulting in the discovery of the Monroe Gas Field was brought in.

1921

1921


The prolific Haynesville Gas Field was discovered.

1921 Haynesville Field May 1925

1940

1940 pipeline historic

1940


The oil and gas industry came to Central Louisiana in a big way with the discovery of the Olla Field in LaSalle Parish.

1942

1942


The Lake St. John Field on the eastern border of Louisiana was discovered.

1947

1947 Rig owned by Kerr Magee 1st offshore rig in GOM out of sight of land

Nov. 14, 1947


The first oil well out of sight of land was brought in by Kerr-McGee in the Gulf of Mexico about 45 miles south of Morgan City in the Ship Shoal Block 32 Field, marking the birth of the offshore oil and gas industry.

1948

1948


The Main Pass Field came in near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

1949

1949


Three major fields were discovered in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast. They were the Eugene Island, BayMarchand and Vermillion Fields.

1950

1950


The South Pass Field in the Gulf of Mexico was discovered.

1954

1954


The western boundary of Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry was established with the discovery of the West Cameron Field.

1959

1959


Severance taxes on oil and gas rose above the $100 million mark in Louisiana for the first time.

1969

1969


Louisiana oil production peaked at 728,494,272 barrels of crude and condensate and reserves began to decline.

1970

1970


Louisiana’s natural gas reserves dropped for the first time since gas was discovered in significant quantities in the state.

1973

1973


The offshore industry unveiled Clean Gulf Associates, a cooperative stockpiling of the most sophisticated oil spill containment and cleanup equipment available.

1975

1975


Gerald R. Ford became the first President of the United States to visit an offshore oil platform when he came to Louisiana on April 23. His comment: “We just have to get more and more of these.”

1975 Mc Cully

1982

1982


Lease and royalty income paid by the oil and gas industry to the state of Louisiana soared to an all-time record $624,529,812.

1982

1982


Oil and gas severance taxes in Louisiana hit an all-time record $971,677,140.

1986

1986


The Bay Marchand Field produced its 500,000,000th barrel of oil making it one of the greatest producers in the U.S.

1988

1988


Bullwinkle, the world’s tallest man-made offshore structure, was launched May 21, 1988 by Shell Offshore, Inc. Bullwinkle carried a $500 million price tag and is located approximately 150 miles south of New Orleans.

1989

1989


The first tension well leg platform was installed by Conoco in the Gulf of Mexico with production from the platform beginning November 8. The platform floats on the surface of the water and is connected to a foundation template on the sea floor by tubular steel tendons. The platform was placed in 1,760 feet of water, about 170 miles southwest of New Orleans in the Jolliet Field.

1990

1990


The Marine Spill Response Corporation was established by the petroleum industry as an oil spill response corporation. The group was created following the March 24, 1989 oil tanker spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. MSRC also announced in that same year that one of its five regional response centers would be located in Lake Charles.

1991

1991


The Louisiana Legislature enacted a law establishing an oil spill response program. The new law levied a two-cent per barrel fee on all oil transferred to or from a marine terminal in Louisiana.

1991

1991


The search for oil goes further offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell Oil made a deepwater discovery in about 3,100 feet of water, about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. BP Exploration held an interest in the project. A short time later a second deepwater discovery was announced by Exxon and its project partner Conoco.

1991

1991


The State of Louisiana filed suit in federal court in an effort to block an offshore lease sale. The suit was later dismissed.

1992

1992


Oklahoma adopts a natural gas proration statute. Louisiana holds public hearings on the issue, but does not adopt any statute or regulations

1993

Addressing The Issue Of Orphaned Or Abandoned Wells


The Louisiana Legislature, with the support of the Louisiana oil and gas industry, adopts legislation aimed at addressing the issue of orphaned or abandoned wells. The legislation established a fee on all oil and gas produced in the state and provided for a method of establishing voluntary trust funds for each well that would follow the well each time it is sold and be available to cover the cost of properly closing and abandoning the well when it was no longer productive.

1993

Offshore Industry Study Conducted


The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association conducts the first of its kind study regarding the economic impacts of the offshore oil and gas industry. The study Impacts showed that the offshore industry has a positive economic impact on the state of more than $3 billion each year.

1994

1994


The Louisiana Legislature enacted a major package of incentive legislation. The new legislation provides for the suspension of severance taxes for the re-entering of plugged wells, wells deeper than 15,000 feet, horizontal wells and wildcat wells. Oil and gas activity increased sharply after the passage of the incentive legislation.

1996

Industry Sees Rebound


After more than a decade of depressed prices and activity, the oil and gas industry began to see a rebound. New drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico spurred on by the development of new technology and the overall worldwide demand for oil gave a new push to Louisiana oil and gas production.

1997

Record-breaking lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico


Record-breaking lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly $1 billion exposed as bids by companies seeking to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, proving that the Gulf of Mexico is not a “dead sea.”

1997

50th Anniversary Of Offshore Oil And Gas Exploration And Production


Louisiana prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of offshore oil and gas exploration and production. The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association celebrates its 75th anniversary as a trade association and pays tribute to the industry’s “Remarkable Past and its Exciting Future.”

1998

1998


Oil prices took a sharp decline in the first part of the year and remained depressed for most of the year.

1998

1998


A new round of mergers began. BP purchased Amoco, Kerr-McGee purchased Oryx. Exxon and Mobil agreed to a merger that formed the largest company in the United States. Other companies combined downstream operations. New rounds of employee layoffs and consolidations also began.

1999

1999


OPEC agrees to a new era of production cuts causing oil prices to increase.

2000

Oct. 16, 2000


Chevron and Texaco agreed to merge and become ChevronTexaco, with the name later reverting back to Chevron.

2004

Sept. 15, 2004 - Hurricane Ivan


Hurricane Ivan made its way through the Gulf of Mexico causing extensive damage to the underwater oil and gas infrastructure.

2005

Aug. 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina cut a destructive path through the Gulf of Mexico and came ashore causing catastrophic damage in Louisiana the Gulf Coast. Katrina turned out to be the most destructive natural disaster in United States history. The hurricane curtailed almost all oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and south Louisiana. Many gas processing plants were damaged while several refineries were flooded with the damage to the state infrastructure hindering repairs.

2005 Katrina

2005

Sept. 24, 2005 - Hurricane Rita


Less than one month after Katrina, Hurricane Rita came ashore in Louisiana, causing damage all across the southern part of the state with extensive damage in the southwest corner. Rita followed a path similar to Katrina through the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall. The combined path of the two hurricanes that were less than 30 days apart was perhaps the most destructive course that the storms could have taken in regards to offshore oil and gas activities.

2006

Nov. 7, 2006


Marathon approved a major expansion of its Garyville, LA refinery. The expansion will add 180,000 barrels of capacity and cost more than $3 billion. The Garyville refinery was the last refinery built in the United States more than 30 years earlier.

2007

July 13, 2007


The Louisiana Mineral Board reported that state income from oil and gas royalties had hit an all-time high with collections of $522.5 million.

2008

January 2008


For the first time, crude oil price broke $100 per barrel and gasoline prices broke $4.00 per gallon.

2008

2008


Another brutal Hurricane Season wreaks havoc on Louisiana’s oil and gas industry as Hurricane’s Gustav and Ike hit the Gulf Coast within weeks of each other.

2010

Deepwater Horizon


An explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days before the well was closed and sealed. Shortly after the event, a six-month moratorium on all deep-water offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf was declared by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, forever changing the landscape of the industry for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

1953

1953 doc laborde

1953


Alden J. “Doc” LaBorde designs Mr. Charlie, the first transportable, submersible drilling rig capable of drilling wells in water depths up to 40 feet.

1963

1963


The Colonial Pipeline products pipeline delivers its first shipment of fuel from the gulf coast to the east coast.

1963 colonial pipeline old

1978

1978 Shell Cognac

1978


Shell brought the Cognac oil and gas field into production in 1,025 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Cognac was deeper than any previous offshore discovery at the time.