Posted: Jun 26, 2012 9:51 AM by Chris Welty
Updated: Jun 26, 2012 9:53 AM
More than 500 people gathered at the Cajun Dome Convention Center to talk business over breakfast.
Business over breakfast is the Chamber of Lafayette's second largest event of the year. The hot topic for today, the oil industry.
KATC's Chris Welty spoke with Don Briggs of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association on the current and future state of the industry.
For the first time in decades the industry is growing.
"Our oil production is producing six million barrels a day and this will continue to grow and lessen our dependence on foreign oil."
Briggs says the oil and gas industry is in an energy revolution. Changes in the way drilling is done is helping the industry expand, but just two years ago the future of oil and gas in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast was uncertain because of the moratorium on drilling after the crude disaster.
"It certainly hurt Louisiana because we had 30 less rigs working in the Gulf of Mexico for some period of time. It cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars to stand-by and shut down those wells and pay rig time and pay employees," said Briggs.
Since the moratorium, rig count is back up in the Gulf, but it hasn't grown to the capacity that it was. Don Briggs says he's confident offshore drilling will bounce back and soon exceed previous production numbers.
"You can't say enough good things for it because Louisiana especially out of Lafayette and Southern Louisiana, so much of the energy infrastructure come out of Lafayette. Lafayette is really a core part of the service sector of the industry that supplies the services that we need to drill and explore for oil."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Karen Harbert was the guest speaker at breakfast, discussing current issues in the oil industry and possible solutions.