Louisiana energy industry meets to discuss 2019 challenges

March 21, 2019 - 7:30 pm

(WWL.com) - The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has gathered for it’s annual gathering in Lake Charles with the industry showing some signs of life in the Gulf of Mexico and Haynesville Shale. President Gifford Briggs says rig activity in the Gulf has doubled since the 2016 downturn, which should help improve quality of life in south Louisiana.

“Good positive momentum in the gulf of mexico in getting that rig count up from 10 now up around 20, which is hugely important for all of our working families.”

While the rig count increases in the south, In the northwest, the Hayesville Shale is beginning to see more action as a series of mergers and acquisitions have increased profitability, and led to rig counts back in the 30s and 40s. Briggs says new tech is helping bring jobs back to the area.

“What’s happened now is that companies are going back in and using new technologies and new tools and things that they have learned from other plays and bringing it to the Haynesville Shale.”

But Briggs says one threat is suppressing investment in Louisiana’s energy industry, and that’s coastal erosion lawsuits. A number of coastal towns have filed suit against oil and gas for it’s role in coastal erosion after the Edwards administration began permitting the action. Briggs says that’s scaring off investors.

“We still have the dark cloud of the coastal lawsuits and legacy lawsuits hanging over our heads, and the industry continues to be attacked by a small group of lawyers who are intent on making a big payday.”

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