The Port of Iberia will sign a long-term lease Friday with Seadrill, a deepwater drilling contractor, to establish a shorebase for their operations in the Western Hemisphere.
According to Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero, Seadrill operates a fleet of 61 harsh environment drillships throughout the world. The lease will include an initial lease period of ten years, with three 10-year options following that.
The shorebase will maintain an inventory of parts and components for drill ships across the world, according to the Port of Iberia.
The lease consists of 60 acres, which Romero said received Foreign Trade Zone designation on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The designation will allow Seadrill to bring equipment in on their ships from foreign locations to be repaired or maintained and then shipped back without tax consequences. Romero explained that without the FTZ designation, that equipment would be worked on in other countries, with no economic benefit to the United States.
The lease with Seadrill was secured through a team effort between the Port of Iberia Board of Commissioners, the Iberia Parish Council and administration, the Iberia Parish School Board, Iberia Parish Tax Assessor Ricky Huval, and Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal.
"Every one of these entities participated in a big way in making Seadrill welcome here in Iberia Parish," Romero said.
In February, the Port announced it had secured $4.4 million to enhance existing buildings and land to set up the shorebase.
"This shorebase being located at the Port of Iberia will be a tremendous economic boom for an ailing oil and gas service industry in Acadiana," said Romero.
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