Louisiana’s oil and gas industry is poised for a modest recovery, although there are still factors negatively affecting industry growth in South Louisiana, said Gifford Briggs, the head of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
As The Daily Advertiser reports, Briggs gave his “state of the industry” presentation to business and economic development leaders at the Petroleum Club on Monday in Lafayette. Briggs highlighted a rise in lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico as a predictor for a modest recovery for the area’s oil and gas industry. LOGA’s tour will finish with another presentation in Baton Rouge tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Juban’s Restaurant.
“It has allowed a lot of companies who focus on the Gulf of Mexico, in Acadiana, in Houma to once again have job postings, looking and recruiting people to come work,” Briggs said.
For much of the presentation, Briggs railed against the “litigation climate” in south Louisiana, referring to the parishes engaged in lawsuits against oil and gas companies and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ letter to coastal parishes encouraging them to join the legacy lawsuits. The lawsuits target companies for their alleged roles in damaging wetlands. Briggs said many leaders are denying the legitimate impact that the litigation is having on Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.
“They will tell you that it’s because no one wants to drill wells in south Louisiana because they don’t like the geology. They only like shale plays. The price isn’t good. And they’ll give you any litany of excuses except for saying it has anything to do with the litigation climate,” Briggs said.
LOGA’s political action committee—LOGPAC—endorsed Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham in the governor’s race. Abraham is challenging Edwards and businessman Eddie Rispone. Briggs’ presentation touched on state elections several times, though he largely steered away from discussing specific candidates. Read the full rundown here.