Well worth exploring

No other industry has had the impact on the Tri-parishes that oil and gas has.

In the boon days, Houma and the surrounding area profited from its proximity to the coast. Work was plentiful and, as the song goes, “the living was easy.”

In the 1980s, when oil prices took a nosedive, so did the local economy.

It’s taken years for the region to recover and reinvent itself. And despite the rough times, gas and oil remain predominant today.

The industry got a shot in the arm last week with the visit by Kazakhstan’s U.S. ambassador, Erlan Idrissov. The former Soviet republic has huge untapped reserves of offshore oil under the Caspian seabed. And although the onshore oil supplies have been fully developed, the offshore industry has remained untapped.

Idrissov, along with Congressman Charlie Melancon, were in town to visit Port Fourchon. In the works is a deal that would provide Kazakhstan the expertise needed to develop its offshore oil supplies.

“We don’t have experience offshore,” Idrissov said during the Port Fourchon tour. “It’s no good inventing the bicycle by yourself. You partner with guys who invented the bicycle. That’s why I am here. We want to be advanced like Port Fourchon.”

Indeed, Idrissov is in the right place. The nation’s top oil companies have maintained a foothold in the oil and gas industry along Louisiana’s coast. Who better to learn from than the “bicycle” makers themselves?

And as Melancon explained, any relationships forged with oil-rich Democratic nations can only serve as a win for our thriving region.