The Gulf of Mexico: Fueling prosperity for Louisiana and our nation

The Gulf of Mexico: Fueling prosperity for Louisiana and our nation

Written by Owner and CEO Paul Danos, you can view the original column in The Advocate.

As CEO and one of the proud owners of Danos, an energy service provider deeply rooted in Louisiana, I am a strong advocate for the continued energy development of the Gulf of Mexico region. For over seven decades, our family-owned and operated business has witnessed firsthand the significant contributions that Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production makes to our state's economy, workforce and energy security. The federal government must develop a long-term program that continues to offer new offshore lease opportunities, not only for Louisiana but for the entire nation.

The Gulf of Mexico has long been recognized as a cornerstone of America's energy landscape, providing a reliable and abundant source of oil and natural gas. This region plays a pivotal role in meeting our nation's energy needs, supporting American jobs, driving economic growth, and providing a path toward climate action.

Close to 100,000 Louisiana jobs and $8 billion in contributions to Louisiana's GDP depend on our industry. However, the economic benefits derived from this industry extend far beyond. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production fuels a diverse supply chain, creating employment opportunities for a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and construction to transportation and services. Every state has jobs and investments directly tied to the Gulf of Mexico.

Moreover, the Gulf of Mexico is not just an economic powerhouse; but it is also a critical component of our nation's energy independence. By harnessing the resources found beneath its waters, we reduce our reliance on foreign oil imports, enhance our energy security and strengthen our national resilience. Domestic production empowers us to control our energy destiny, shielding us from geopolitical uncertainties that can disrupt global energy markets.

Additionally, the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas industry has consistently demonstrated its commitment to producing a massive amount of energy with a small – and shrinking – footprint. A recent study from ICF International, commissioned by the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), provides remarkable clarity as to how climate-advantaged Gulf of Mexico energy production is.

U.S. oil production, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, boasts significantly lower carbon emissions intensity compared to much of the rest of the world. According to ICF's findings, increasing Gulf of Mexico U.S. production to offset foreign crude or condensate would result in an astounding 46% reduction in the international average carbon intensity for the displaced oil.

When it comes to carbon emissions intensity, U.S. oil production outperforms foreign producers like Russia and Iran by a wide margin.

It is also important to recognize that the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas industry is evolving to embrace new opportunities and technologies.

Our industry is actively pursuing initiatives such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. We are also spearheading new wind projects in the American offshore, including in the Gulf of Mexico. Our industry is adapting and finding innovative solutions to meet the energy needs of a changing world while minimizing our environmental footprint.

However, we face challenges that threaten the future of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. Burdensome regulations, bureaucratic delays and the specter of needless de facto moratoriums hinder our ability to responsibly develop our natural resources. We urge policymakers to recognize the vital importance of this industry and support policies that encourage continued exploration and production in the Gulf.

Let us celebrate the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas industry as a pillar of Louisiana's prosperity and energy independence. Together, let us embrace its potential, support its growth and secure a brighter future for our state, our nation and the hardworking women and men who make this industry thrive.