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08 15, 2012 by Daily Comet
Chevron held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday for its new Gulf of Mexico Preservation and Maintenance Facility in Gray that will bring more than 45 jobs to the area, not including spinoff employment.
This new facility enables Chevron to better manage its long-term plans for the Gulf, said Gary Luquette, Chevron’s North American Exploration and Production Co. president and an Abbeville native.
“This is, for Chevron, an enabler for future success,” Luquette said. “There will be 45 permanent, local employees and four or five international types for training.”
The 150,000-square-foot facility will store critical spare parts, maintenance, repair and operations items, and things not readily available from suppliers, the company said.
The facility will also be a repair point and will have the capability to preserve sensitive equipment.
Chevron has reached an unprecedented amount of activity in the Gulf, which made this facility necessary, Luquette said.
“Our activity level right now is the highest it’s been from a dollar investment, rig count, manning level, you name it, highest in our history in the Gulf of Mexico,” Luquette said. “We’ve got a string of pearls in the deep water that we think will eventually lead to additional discoveries and additional projects, which will continue to keep this facility fully occupied and utilized.”
Chevron is one of the largest oil and gas producers on the Gulf of Mexico shelf and a top leaseholder in the deepwater Gulf, according to The Associated Press. Federal regulators have approved 15 new deepwater permits for Chevron this year alone.
Luquette stressed Chevron’s commitment to the area.
“I think this facility is a strong indication of our interest in Terrebonne Parish, our interest in the state of Louisiana and our interest in the Gulf of Mexico,” Luquette said. “Thank you for your support of Chevron, and in return, my promise to you is that we’re going to keep a good thing going, be a good corporate citizen and continue to invest in the community.”
Warner Williams, the vice president of Chevron’s Gulf Coast Business unit, said this facility on La. 24 will also serve as a staging point for materials moving out from Port Fourchon, Leeville and Venice.
“This facility shows Chevron’s commitment to the area, and we’re in Louisiana to stay,” Williams said. “With our move towards deep water, we’re getting big, and that means jobs.”
Williams said he is excited about opening the facility and hopes the community shares his excitement.
“The facility you see behind us will safely preserve materials and store our materials that we use on the shelf but more importantly in the deepwater operations,” Williams said. “We anticipate generating a number of jobs indirectly in Terrebonne Parish and also southeastern Louisiana as we ship, preserve and maintain our material.”
Parish President Michele Claudet also praised the new facility.
“This new facility, 150,000 square feet on 30 acres, is going to employ about 45 people and is going to bring in people from all over the world to train in this area,” Claudet said. “Chevron believes that we’re a great place to be, a great place to service the oilfield industry, and as we all know, even though we have the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Louisiana, the oilfield is a driving factor in our area.”
Tom Cloninger, who lead a tour of the massive facility, said the construction was largely a local effort.
“We bought all the pilings locally. We had a local contractor put them in. (The) local contractor that did most of the siting work was Byron Talbot. The concrete was provided by Ken LeBlanc right down the road,” Cloninger said. “We had a lot of locals involved in this.”
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