The right signals from Washington

daily advertiserThe Advertiser | David Welch | April 22, 2017

Recently, there have been press reports that President Trump is considering an executive order that would reverse his predecessor’s ill-advised decision to ban offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production in wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

It’s about time. Here in Louisiana, we understand the benefits that offshore energy can provide, and if the good people of other coastal states decide that they’d like to enjoy those same benefits, the federal government should not stand in the way. According to a 2014 study by Quest Offshore Resources, allowing access in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has the potential to create more than 800,000 new jobs and deliver billions in annual economic impact by 2035.

Of course, we also understand the imperative for the nation’s offshore energy industry to always put safety first. Ultimately, former President Obama based his decision on the faulty premise that the industry cannot operate safely, ignoring safety improvements made by both industry and federal regulators in the seven years since the Deepwater Horizon accident and gulf oil spill.

Read the full letter to the editor here.

David Welch is President and CEO of Stone Energy Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Lafayette. He also serves as the NOIA Chairman. 

Realizing America’s Offshore Economic Opportunity

PolizettePoliZette | April 6, 2017 | Randall Luthi

It’s early days for the Trump administration, but we already know a few things. Our new president favors swift action to meet his campaign promises. He’s also shown himself to be a no-holds-barred cost-cutter.

These two prongs create a dilemma. Mr. Trump pinned his reputation on job creation, but given recent events he will now lack expected health care savings to reinvest in stimulus in a budget-neutral manner. Fortunately, significant opportunity exists to unshackle offshore drilling and simultaneously unleash hiring activity and boost federal revenues. Some moves will require only the stroke of a pen.

At stake are over 100,000 energy jobs, many offering six-figure salaries to hard-working, high-skilled Americans with or without a college degree. These would be in the oil and gas sector, the second largest contributor to U.S. revenues. Industry growth could also dramatically increase taxes, royalties, and rents from offshore production to help fund other pressing government priorities.

That this potential is untapped today is the consequence of the previous administration’s abnegating its stewardship of our national energy independence. Obama’s anti-fossil fuel onslaught spanned 145 new regulations and executive actions designed to delay and derail domestic exploration.

The effects were unsurprisingly harmful. In just one year from 2008 to 2009, acres open to offshore drilling fell from 8 million to 3 million. By 2010, the Gulf of Mexico went from contributing 30 percent of U.S. energy to just 20 percent. Only a doubling of output on private and state-owned onshore lands over the decade ending in 2015 kept America in a relatively safe zone for domestic supply. A new policy direction is urgently needed.

Read the full op-ed here.

Realizing our Offshore Economic Opportunity

washington examinerWashington Examiner| April 10, 2017 | Randall Luthi

It’s early days for the Trump administration, but we already know a few things. Our new president favors swift action to meet his campaign promises. He’s also shown himself to be a no-holds-barred cost-cutter.

These two prongs create a dilemma. Trump pinned his reputation on job creation, but given recent events he will now lack expected healthcare savings to reinvest in stimulus in a budget-neutral manner. Fortunately, significant opportunity exists to unshackle offshore drilling and simultaneously unleash hiring activity and boost federal revenues. Some moves will require only the stroke of a pen.

At stake are over 100,000 energy jobs, many offering six-figure salaries to hard-working, high-skilled Americans with or without a college degree. These would be in the oil and gas sector, the second largest contributor to U.S. revenues. Industry growth could also dramatically increase taxes, royalties, and rents from offshore production to help fund other pressing government priorities.

That this potential is untapped today is the consequence of the previous administration abnegating its stewardship of our national energy independence. President Barack Obama’s anti-fossil fuel onslaught spanned 145 new regulations and executive actions designed to delay and derail domestic exploration.

The effects were unsurprisingly harmful. In just one year from 2008 to 2009, acres open to offshore drilling fell from 8 million to 3 million. By 2010, the Gulf of Mexico went from contributing 30 percent of U.S. energy to just 20 percent. Only a doubling of output on private and state-owned onshore lands over the decade ending in 2015 kept America in a relatively safe zone for domestic supply. A new policy direction is urgently needed.

President Trump has signaled a more rational approach to fossil fuels, committing to reverse overly stringent power plant restrictions and approving pipeline construction. Regarding offshore drilling, however, the administration has only put a toe in the deep waters of change.

The recent auction of 73 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico was welcomed but represented a modest difference from Obama-era plans. Similarly, appointing energy realists Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke was an inspired decision, but filling remaining positions has been slow.

Read full op-ed here.

NOIA Elects Chairman David H. Welch and Vice Chairman John Gellert

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Contact:  Justin Williams, (202) 465-8464, jwilliams@nullnoia.org

NOIA Elects Chairman David H. Welch and Vice Chairman John Gellert

Washington, D.C. – The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected David H. Welch as Chairman and John Gellert as Vice Chairman for the upcoming 2017-2018 term. Welch and Gellert assumed their positions at the NOIA Annual Meeting today in Washington, D.C.

Welch becomes the first producer to serve as Chairman in NOIA’s history. In 2004, Welch joined Stone Energy Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. He is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Stone Energy.  Welch has also previously served on NOIA’s board of directors.

“As a longtime member of NOIA, I am truly honored by the opportunity to serve as Chairman. With recovering commodity prices and a more energy-aware administration in Washington, D.C., NOIA and its members can now work better with Washington to help forge common-sense policies that allow for the safe development of all offshore energy resources.”

Since 2015, Gellert has led SEACOR Marine Holdings as President. SEACOR Marine is a provider of offshore marine support vessels, serving the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry. Gellert also serves as a co-Chief Operating Officer for SEACOR Holdings.

Gellert said, “It is a great privilege to serve NOIA in this new role. I am looking forward to working with Dave, Randall, and the NOIA membership in this exciting time. We will continue NOIA’s mission to promote the safe development of offshore energy for the continued growth and security of the United States.”

NOIA President Randall Luthi said, “Dave and John assume NOIA leadership during a pivotal time for the offshore industry. Commodity prices are stubbornly creeping up and, after eight years, we finally have an administration that understands the benefits of “all of the above” energy. As we enter what should be a brighter year, we have a true opportunity to make the case for offshore energy, both in the short and long-term. President Trump is looking for ways to kick start the American economy and generate federal revenue.  Our industry offers a way to achieve both.

“NOIA will continue our push to increase access to our offshore resources and establish a fair and reliable regulatory environment for our industry. Our industry has a proven track record of providing well-paying jobs, affordable domestic energy for our nation and vital revenue streams for federal, state and local governments. In return, past Federal policies have closed over 94% of the outer continental shelf to oil and natural gas exploration.  It is time to reverse that trend and discover the full energy potential of the US offshore.”

Luthi concluded, “The last year brought an unprecedented regulatory deluge, but we were incredibly fortunate to have Kevin McEvoy, Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering International, as our Chairman. Through Kevin’s leadership we were able to weather the storm, and we are in a far better place now than we would be without his leadership.”

Prior to joining Stone Energy Corporation,  Welch held executive positions with Amoco and later BP, including Director of Strategic Planning, President of the Amoco Gulf Group, Senior VP of BP North America and President of BP Alaska Canada Gas. He also spent 5 years with the US Geological Survey and one year as an adjunct professor at Tulane University in the graduate school. Welch studied petroleum engineering at LSU and the Colorado School of Mines, economics and chemical engineering at Tulane and studied business at Harvard.

Gellert has enjoyed a long career with SEACOR, where he started as a financial and market analyst after graduating from Harvard College in 1992.  He has held a series of international appointments with both marketing and operating responsibilities in Europe, West Africa and South East Asia.

About Stone Energy Corporation
Founded in 1993, Stone Energy Corporation is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. With a heavy focus in the Gulf of Mexico, Stone Energy has a portfolio of deep water exploration prospects ranging from smaller tie-backs into existing structures to multi-hundred million barrel targets requiring new infrastructure. Learn more at http://www.stoneenergy.com/.

About SEACOR Marine
SEACOR Marine, the offshore marine services business of SEACOR Holdings, is a global provider of marine transportation equipment and logistics services.  SEACOR Marine operates a fleet of marine support vessels, serving the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry in the Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, the North Sea, West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Learn more at http://www.seacormarine.com.

###

ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.

15 Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Appointed to NOIA Board of Directors

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Contact:  Justin Williams, (202) 465-8464, jwilliams@nullnoia.org

15 Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Appointed to NOIA Board of Directors

Washington, D.C. – The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) elected 16 industry leaders to its Board of Directors on April 6, 2017 during its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Appointed to first term on the Board of Directors:
Chris Beckett, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Drilling
Kenny Lang, President & COO, Ridgewood Energy Corporation
Mike McCauley, Operations GM, Arena Offshore
David de Roode, Senior Vice President, Lockton Marine & Energy
Jim Wicklund, Managing Director, Credit-Suisse, LLC

Reappointed to the Board of Directors for a second term:
Erik Bartsch, Exploration Manager, Gulf of Mexico, Shell Energy Resources Company
Cornelius Dupré, Chairman & CEO, Dupré Energy Services
Bill Flores, Houston, TX
Cliffe Laborde, Managing Member, Laborde Marine Management
Mark Meunier, Vice President, Kiewit Offshore Services
Lee Orgeron, Montco Offshore
Will Pecue, President, Taylor Energy Company

Appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors:
Robert Abendschein, Vice President, Deepwater Americas, Anadarko Petroleum Company
Erik Bartsch, Exploration Manager, Gulf of Mexico, Shell Energy Resources Company
Matt McCarroll, President & CEO, Fieldwood Energy
David Williams, Chairman, President  & CEO, Noble Corporation

In a separate press release today, NOIA announced the election of Dave Welch, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stone Energy Corporation, as the Chairman of the Board and John Gellert, President of SEACOR Marine Holdings, as Vice Chairman of the Board.  NOIA Board of Director members serve three-year terms.  The terms for the Chairman and Vice Chairman are one year.

###

ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.

Frank’s International Wins 2017 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Safety Practice Award

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Contact:  Nicolette Nye, (202) 465-8463, nicolette@nullnoia.org

Frank’s International Wins 2017 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Safety Practice Award
Washington, D.C. – The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has awarded the 2017 Safety-in-Seas (SIS) Safety Practice Award to Frank’s International.  Douglas Stephens, President and CEO of Frank’s International, accepted the award today during NOIA’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

“We are honored to be selected as the recipients of this prestigious industry award. This award is particularly significant to all of us at Frank’s International as safety in the offshore industry is such an integral part of who we are as a company. We have a commitment to safety that spans from how we conduct ourselves on site and in the shop, to our dedicated research and development teams who design and develop technologies that increase operational safety and efficiency. We would also like to commend NOIA for their continued efforts to highlight safety in the offshore oil and gas industry and thank them for recognizing our efforts in this important area,” said Stephens.

Frank’s International was presented the Safety Practice Award for their Jet String Elevator, a new, innovative lifting device that can render deepwater large-diameter pipe handling procedures while improving the overall safety and efficiency of offshore drilling operations.

“Safe offshore oil and gas operations are essential in meeting our nation’s energy needs,” said NOIA President Randall Luthi. “I congratulate Frank’s International on this award-winning innovation, which enhances safety for workers and customers and furthers the company’s reputation as a recognized leader in safety worldwide.”

Frank’s International’s award-winning entry was selected by an independent panel of judges from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Review Board, and an industry safety consultant. Era Helicopters, Fairfield Nodal, Murphy Exploration & Production, Noble Corporation and Tidewater were also nominated for the 2017 safety practice award.

NOIA has held the SIS awards competition since 1978 to recognize those who have contributed to improving the safety of life in the offshore energy industry.

About Frank’s International:     
For over 75 years, Frank’s International has been setting new standards in tubular and oil & gas services worldwide. Extraordinary innovation and expertise have made the company global leaders in their field. Frank’s has a proven track record of innovating products that keep employees and customers out of harm’s way through automation and remote technology. As a recognized leader in safety worldwide, Frank’s is dedicated to the highest standards of QHSE for their employees, customers and communities. The company’s global headquarters are located in the Netherlands and their U.S. headquarters are located in Houston, Texas. Learn more at www.franksinternational.com.

###

ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.