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Mission

The Center for Energy Studies conducts, encourages, and facilitates research and analysis to address energy-related problems or issues affecting Louisiana's economy, environment, and citizenry. Whether conducted by its staff or by others it supports, the Center's goal is to provide a balanced, objective, and timely treatment of issues with potentially important consequences for Louisiana.

The Center for Energy Studies was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1982 as the embodiment of recommendations made by an independent group of experts and at the urging of Louisiana business and public interest groups, as well as the University.

Programs and Capabilities

The Center is mandated to provide energy information and analysis that responds to the needs of the legislature, public agencies, and business and civic groups. The Center maintains some unique energy databases and is the official repository of energy information from the state and The Energy Council. Its staff responds regularly to requests from a wide variety of individuals and institutions for specialized energy data and information.

With the assistance of its Advisory Council, the staff tries to identify issues with important implications for the state's economy and citizenry, and then design studies which address them in a timely and effective manner.

During the past decade the Center has recruited and retained a core research staff who has gained national credibility and visibility. The Center has diversified its multidisciplinary breadth, extended its topical expertise, and expanded its cooperation with other departments. It has implemented an effective program of public outreach, education, and technology transfer.

The Center's research and policy analysis projects examine policies and trends affecting the oil and gas industry, especially with respect to offshore developments. These projects, funded primarily by the Minerals Management Service and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, aim to

  • measure the economic, safety, and environmental performance of the oil and gas industry;
  • analyze the effects of deepwater development on the Gulf Coast economy;
  • model the economics of the installation, removal and operation of offshore oil and gas platforms to forecast and evaluate regulatory and policy alternatives;
  • identify trends and behavior important for planning, management and regulation of the industry at both the federal and state level.

Another concentration is the modeling and basin analysis of the onshore interior salt basins of the Gulf Coast. The Center, along with the Louisiana Geological Survey and the University of Alabama, has two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that focus on the estimation of deep gas plays.

The Center's personnel also act in an advisory or expert capacity for legislative, executive, and regulatory branches of both the state and national governments and represent the state on energy-related organizations at both the regional and national level.

Maintaining and strengthening our current relationships with the state agencies dealing with energy, the U.S. Minerals Management Service, and the Department of Energy are the Center's highest priority objectives. With this imperative, the Center is now working within the following new areas of research:

  • integration of alternative energy into the fossil fuel economy;
  • implications for Louisiana of competing approaches to climate-change regulation;
  • reinvesting state energy revenues for future state energy production.

The capability necessary to accomplish the basic mission of the Center is funded by state appropriation. The resources to conduct or to participate in larger-scale interdisciplinary projects have come historically from grants and contracts from the federal and private sectors. From 1982 to the present these have totaled more than $20 million.