Oil Hits $70 Per Barrel But La. Oil And Gas Industry Still Struggles
Oil prices in the U.S. have climbed over the $70 mark for the first time since 2014. But Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, says the rise in crude prices is not jump starting an industry that’s been struggling.
“If you would have told me when oil was at $30 we get it back up to $70, I would have told you we would have a booming energy industry here in Louisiana and unfortunately we haven’t seen that.”
Briggs says numerous lawsuits filed by local governments in south Louisiana seeking money for coastal restoration has had a chilling effect on the industry. Briggs says it’s not all bad as non-direct jobs are on the increase since the prices began going up.
“The service industry, particularly in the Acadiana area, those guys have been able to start hiring people and put them back to work. Most of that work is in Texas, but they are still getting paychecks and able to take care of their families so that’s a good thing.”