Hurricane Isaac could bring significant weather conditions to more than a thousand drilling rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil prices are already on the rise.

The state Office of Conservation has ordered petroleum exploration and production companies to take necessary precautions to ensure their sites are secure as Hurricane Isaac nears.

Conservation Commissioner James Welsh said operators of oilfield and related structures as well as pipelines have been directed under the state's emergency declaration to ensure wells and other facilities do not create environmental threats.

Ascension Parish has been chosen as the site for an Avalon Rare Metals Inc. plant that will refine elements used in televisions and hybrid vehicles, if the company decides to build the $300 million facility.

The Louisiana Department of Economic Development announced Monday that Avalon chose the Geismar site for its possible refinery, with a final decision planned for 2013.

If built, LED says the plan would create 175 new jobs.

The LSU AgCenter says Tropical Storm Isaac could wreck what was looking like an excellent year for Louisiana agriculture.

AgCenter cotton and feed grain specialist John Kruse says cotton is at the same stage it was when Hurricane Gustav destroyed the 2008 crop.

And he says about two-thirds of a record 560,000-acre corn crop was still in the field Monday because the low Mississippi River has slowed shipping.

Oil Refineries Wait For Isaac To Pass

Aug 28, 2012




NPR's business news starts with an eye on oil prices.

Isaac is not expected to grow beyond a Category 1 hurricane and that is easing some concerns it could damage oil and gas refineries along the Gulf Coast. Still, several have shut down operations and will probably be offline for a couple days. Depending on Isaac's severity, analysts say gas prices could go up by about 10 cents or so in the coming weeks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Halliburton's new 200,000-square-foot plant in north Lafayette is ramping up operations.

The company says the $65 million facility manufactures equipment for the oil and gas industry.

The Advocate reports the plant opened earlier this summer and has about 135 employees.

Halliburton spokeswoman Tara Mullee-Agard says employment at the plant should reach 160 by the end of the year.

State agencies say they've asked the company owning a natural gas pipeline that was bent by an expanding sinkhole in Assumption Parish for an updated risk management plan on a nearby butane storage cavern.

Crosstex Energy LP of Dallas owns a storage cavern 1,600 feet from the site of a sinkhole near Bayou Corne. The cavern houses 940,000 barrels of butane.

Chevron has completed construction on a 150,000-square-foot storage facility in Terrebonne Parish to support its operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The facility, located on Louisiana Highway 24 in Gray, will employ 25 people and serve as the storage hub for materials essential to Chevron's oil and gas exploration activity in the Gulf.

Southeastern Louisiana University's Division of Extended Studies is offering a non-credit course on makeup for filmmaking.

Available for high school students and adults interested in the film industry, the course will be taught by Tara Bennett, a freelance makeup artist with experience in makeup for photography, film, and theatrical stage.

The course is scheduled on the university's main Hammond campus on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. from Sept. 12- Oct. 10. The cost is $125, which includes all materials needed, and one continuing education credit will be awarded.

The hundreds of hotel rooms planned or under construction in Shreveport-Bossier City might be missing their intended clients.

The Times reports hotel operators had counted on guests in town for business in the Haynesville shale oil field.

But a slowdown of natural gas production has cut into room nights.

More than 1,300 hotel rooms are in final planning phases or under construction in Shreveport-Bossier City. An additional 169 rooms have gone into operation this year in Bossier City.