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Center for Energy Studies Examines the Economic Importance of the Port of Venice

Timely investment in the Port of Venice could elevate it into a significant world-class offshore oil and gas service port along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, according to a report released by the LSU Center for Energy Studies (CES). The Port of Venice Complex, commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the Gulf,” would benefit considerably from the service and maintenance activities arising from new drilling and production operations in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

“The Port of Venice is exceptionally well-positioned to take advantage of new eastern Gulf of Mexico drilling and production prospects, creating economic development opportunities for the local and state economies, and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy,” said Professor David Dismukes, Center for Energy Studies associate executive director and principle investigator for the study. “However, these opportunities won’t happen without continued investment in the waterways and channels leading into the port complex.”

Venice’s contribution to the Louisiana economy is not well known. While other, more visible ports in the state focus almost exclusively on federal deepwater production, Venice provides support to a balanced mix of state and federal drilling and production activities in the Gulf. Most importantly, Venice supports in-state production activities that are estimated to contribute more than $350 million per year in mineral revenues directly to Louisiana and not to the federal government. The area serviced by Venice accounts for some 20 percent of all in-state mineral revenues.

Over the past five years, Venice has supported in-state oil and gas production activities that have contributed some $1.69 billion in state mineral revenues. "An investment in Venice is clearly a direct investment in Louisiana and one that yields almost immediate economic and financial benefits that are not dependent upon the irregularities of federal royalty revenue policies," Dismukes said.

The CES economic impact analysis of the Port was based upon a detailed tenant and port user survey that incorporated economic impact models and analyses, as well as sophisticated satellite tracking measurements to examine vessel movements into, out of, and through the port to state and federal drilling and production locations.

The CES impact study estimated that the Port will have made more than $117 million and $188 million in capital investments in 2008 and 2009, respectively. These capital investments, comprised of infrastructure improvements and marine vessel expenditures, will lead to more than 1,070 jobs for the local economy and neighboring Louisiana parishes.

Annual operations at the Port are estimated to create more than $197 million in economic activity in both 2008 and 2009. Over the past two years, the Port has employed, on average, more than 850 people in the local economy.

The Port has a significant competitive advantage in serving the new offshore areas recently slated for drilling in the eastern Gulf. The geographic location of the Port of Venice gives it the ability to provide oil and gas service companies a 6-to-95 percent fuel cost advantage to important eastern Gulf of Mexico lease sales relative to other central and eastern GOM ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Click here to view or download a copy of the report.