The Mississippi Gulf Coast has the opportunity to attract energy-related investment and jobs, particularly through businesses that work with the offshore energy sector. That’s according to the Mississippi Energy Institute, which hosted a Gulf Coast Energy Summit in Biloxi this week. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports.
About 80 people attended the summit, which included speakers from the private and public sector, academia and some trade groups. Mississippi Energy Institute president Patrick Sullivan says the sector’s economic opportunities vary throughout the state. But on the gulf coast, he says the potential is high for good-paying jobs at companies that service the offshore energy industry.
"We've seen evidence of that on the coast, with Edison Chouest, and McDermott, both of these are energy service related, but servicing the offshore energy sector," he says.
Low commodity prices and concerns about environmental impacts have slowed new leases and projects. But Mike Celata, Gulf of Mexico director for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, says opportunities remain.
“What I saw from the resources is that the Gulf of Mexico shoud be around for offshore energy production for a long time," he says. "So economic development from offshore energy is very positive, and my goal as the regional director is to make sure that continues.”
The Gulf of Mexico supplied 16 percent of the United State’s oil production in 2014, and nearly 5 percent of the total gas production.