Local communities are backbone of Louisiana’s energy industry

11 03, 2014 by Lori LeBlanc | BIC Magazine

The work of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry extends far beyond the corporate boardrooms of the major oil and gas companies, as thousands of workers put on their hard hats and steel toe boots in communities across Louisiana’s coast to do their part in fueling America. And the valuable contributions of these workers and their local community leaders are readily recognized and appreciated by our energy companies.

That is why the Offshore Committee of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) was delighted to host a first-of-its-kind meeting between energy industry executives and the parish presidents of Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne Parishes at Port Fourchon in Galliano, Louisiana. Discussions focused on industry’s economic impact on and continued economic development in the region, and the implementation of heightened emergency response capabilities.

Port Fourchon, which is the gateway to our nation’s offshore energy supply and supports 90 percent of deepwater activity in the Gulf, was an excellent location for our event. As Doss Bourgeois, executive vice president of exploration and production at Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas, noted, “The work being done by all of these oil-field service companies at Fourchon serves as a great example of the economic impacts of our offshore energy industry.”

Meeting attendees included Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, St. Mary Parish President Paul Naquin, Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet, Port Fourchon Executive Director Chett Chiasson, representatives of more than 10 oil and gas operators, LMOGA officials and representatives of the Marine Well Containment Corp., who provided an update on spill containment technology developed since Deepwater Horizon. In addition, Bourgeois and John Hollowell, executive vice president of deepwater at Shell Energy Resources Co., provided their respective companies’ investment forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico.

“The industry is committed to supporting Louisiana’s coastal communities that do so much to support our energy production in the Gulf,” said Jim Hutchison, LMOGA chairman. “As we plan for even greater investment in the Gulf, it was wonderful to talk with parish leaders about ways we can collaborate to further benefit residents, workers, industry and our economy.”

All three parish presidents expressed their full support of the industry and offered their communities’ continued assistance. They appreciated hearing industry executives detail their investments in the Gulf of Mexico and also noted critical issues facing industry and local communities, including maintaining critical energy infrastructure like Louisiana Highway 1, workforce development to meet industry’s increased demands for trained workers and maintaining ongoing communications between industry and parish governments.

For industry, meetings like this one are an integral part of our commitment to community stewardship. While the oil and gas industry brings jobs and economic benefits to local communities, Louisiana’s energy industry is committed to working with local government officials to ensure they are informed of industry’s activities and the impacts to their communities.

LMOGA is committed to facilitating this dialogue between oil and gas operators and local government officials, and the Offshore Committee will continue to host events like this one to ensure the successful and sustainable growth of Louisiana’s coastal communities and our energy industry.