oil industry

Classroom training equipment in the Oil & Gas Production Technology Department at Bossier Parish Community College. The BPCC program has seen its enrollment down by more than 40% in the current oil downturn.
Ryan Kailath

 


Derrick Hadley was born to work in the oil field — almost literally. His father named him after an oil rig, spelling and all.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Even as the price of oil drops, and offshore drilling slows down, huge amounts of crude oil keep flowing into Louisiana’s oil ports. The biggest is LOOP, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. It’s a major pass-through point for a lot of U.S. crude. But instead of heading out to refineries, oil is being stockpiled at LOOP.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The oil and gas downturn has resulted in a loss of about 12,000 jobs across Louisiana over the past year. Many of those jobs are concentrated in smaller metropolitan areas, like the Cajun city of Lafayette, which has lost the most. The city that once boomed as a result of oil and gas activity is now struggling to not go bust.

Patrick Kirton in the film "Broken," which he also directed. Kirton turned to the offshore oil and gas industry after 15 years in Hollywood.
Patrick Kirton

In many ways, Patrick Kirton is a typical offshore worker. He grew up in Shreveport; his dad was in the industry; his older brother just retired from BP. But every now and then, out on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico together, his buddies would notice something. And they’d ask him “Hey. Did I see you in a movie?”

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

A sudden drop in oil prices last year has brought huge challenges to the state of Louisiana — more than 10,000 layoffs in the oil and gas sector and a $400 million hit to the state budget. Long known for its “working coast” — represented by shipping, fishing and industry in south Louisiana and along the Mississippi River — the downturn brings with it something of an identity crisis.

Twice a year the federal government auctions off land in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration. It’s usually a pretty quiet affair. But on Wednesday hundreds of protesters marched into the Superdome to try to disrupt the sale.

A Taylor Energy well southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River has been leaking for over a decade.
Taylor Energy

The company responsible for an ongoing spill in the Gulf of Mexico is holding a public forum on Wednesday. Taylor Energy was mandated to share information about the spill and its cleanup efforts with the public.

fema.gov

The Environmental Protection Agency released new standards on Tuesday for emissions from petroleum refineries.

The EPA says the standards will cut down on CO2 emissions and prevent about 1.4 million people from being exposed to pollutants in the air, like benzene. Regularly breathing such pollutants can cause respiratory problems, increased risk of cancer and other health problems.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

A federal agency that oversees offshore leasing wants input on the environmental impacts of drilling in the Gulf. The Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, or BOEM, is one of two government agencies that regulate the offshore industry. It held a meeting in New Orleans Thursday as part of its role of leasing drilling rights throughout the Gulf.

Deep horizontal drilling for oil and gas is enormously expensive. The fracking process to release oil and gas from the shale reached by those deep wells is enormously controversial. But when one of those wells comes in, it’s enormously profitable.

“I know for a fact that companies absolutely want to drill those wells because we have that incentive,” Louisiana Oil and Gas Association president Don Briggs says of Louisiana’s severance tax exemption for deep horizontal wells. Passed by the legislature in 1994, it seemed like a good idea at the time, as it was encouraging new technology.


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