The onshore shale revolution drove domestic production to new milestones in 2018, growing U.S. influence in world markets and fueling the transformation of Louisiana’s integrated energy economy into one more focused on exports.
As New Orleans City Business reports, the U.S. became the world’s largest oil producer this year, and a net exporter of oil and petroleum products for the first time since after World War II.
But while most new U.S. drilling activity has concentrated onshore, the Gulf Coast regions proximity to plentiful, low-priced oil and gas has fueled an “industrial renaissance” in value-added petroleum refining and petrochemical production exported to Asia and other world markets, according to LSU’s Gulf Coast Energy Outlook.
Louisiana captured 51% of actual and announced chemical industry capital investments along the Gulf Coast since 2011, led by $100 billion in liquefied natural gas export facility investments.
In July, New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf International Marine emerged from prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid ongoing oversupply in the sector. And more than 60 years after the Laborde family founded Tidewater Inc. in Louisiana, the company relocated its headquarters to Houston to cut costs before acquiring a competitor, Houston-based Gulfmark Offshore Inc.