Lafayette Oil & Gas Convention
Lafayette, LA • Cajundome • November 9-10, 2016 444 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506
The state of Louisiana lies completely within the Gulf Coastal Plain. The state rises from the marshes, bayous and estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico to the prairie of the state’s northern and western regions. Louisiana is only 100 feet above sea level and about one-fourth of Louisiana is in the Mississippi River Delta, including the port of New Orleans. Freshwater and saltwater wetlands cover about one-third of the state’s land area. Oil and natural gas are abundant in Louisiana both onshore and offshore. Louisiana’s total energy and per capita energy consumption rank among the highest in the nation, largely because of an industrial sector dominated by the energy-intensive chemical, petroleum, and natural gas industries.
Oil production in Louisiana started early in the 20th century, after the discovery of the Spindletop oil field just over the border in Texas. In the late 1940s, the first oil well drilled out of sight of land was completed 10 miles off the Louisiana coast. Although the water was only 18 feet deep, the well was a significant achievement in opening the Gulf of Mexico to oil development. The Gulf of Mexico has become one of the largest U.S. oil-producing regions. Production from state waters and the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) area off Louisiana first peaked in 1972. Advances in deepwater drilling technology sent production to new highs in the early 2000s. Many of the nation’s largest oil fields are found off the Louisiana coast in the federal OCS, and a large share of federal OCS production in the Gulf of Mexico comes onshore in Louisiana. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is the nation’s first and only deepwater oil port.
Louisiana’s 19 oil refineries account for close to one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and are capable of processing more than 3.3 million barrels of oil per day. Many of the state’s refineries are sophisticated facilities that use additional refining processes beyond simple distillation. Louisiana refineries can process a wide variety of oil types from all over the world.
About three-fourths of Louisiana’s refined petroleum products are sent out of state. The Plantation Pipeline, runs from near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the suburbs of Washington, DC, and supplies much of the South with motor gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and biodiesel. Refineries supply Louisiana’s industrial sector, particularly the petrochemical industry. Louisiana has one of the largest concentrations of petrochemical manufacturing facilities in the nation and Louisiana’s total and per capita consumption of petroleum are among the highest in the nation.
Louisiana is one of the top natural gas-producing states in the country. In 2014, the state accounted for about 7% of U.S. marketed production and, at year’s end, held about 6% of the nation’s proved dry natural gas reserves. Among its many productive areas is the Haynesville Shale. Louisiana is also a top natural gas-consuming state. Nearly three-fourths of its production is consumed in the state, mainly by the industrial sector.
Louisiana delivers the remaining one-fourth of its natural gas production to other states via a vast network of interstate pipelines. More than two-thirds of the natural gas entering Louisiana comes from Texas. Louisiana plays an essential role in moving natural gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast region to markets throughout the country. The state has five natural gas marketing centers. The most active natural gas market center in North America is the Henry Hub in Erath, Louisiana, where nine interstate and four intrastate pipelines interconnect to provide natural gas to major markets throughout the country.