Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and Oceaneering International Inc. announced the 30,000-square-foot expansion of the company's Morgan City facilities, a $5 million capital investment that will support the creation of 200 new direct jobs and the retention of 1,700 existing jobs. The 200 new jobs -- which will average $60,000 a year, plus benefits -- will result in another 407 indirect jobs, Louisiana Economic Development estimates.
Fully 120 of the new employees will be trained for production and performance of the company's core product: remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, that perform technical tasks and inspections at up to two miles below the surface of the sea. Another 80 new employees will provide broad support for Oceaneering in St. Mary Parish, where operations also include diving, rigging, inspection, inventory, administration and other units.
Governor Jindal said, "In a couple weeks, we will mark the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill that took eleven lives, devastated our coastline and threatened thousands of oil and gas industry jobs in our state. Two years later, I'm proud to note that we are coming back from the oil spill and the moratorium even stronger and better than before. Today's announcement is a sign of the progress we are making to get our people back to work so we can fuel the nation. Oceaneering's expansion is a testament to the hardworking people of Louisiana and yet another sign that Louisiana's business climate is one of the best in the country."
Hiring has begun and will continue through 2012. The manufacturing expansion, which joins an existing building of approximately 100,000 square feet, will be completed in November. Altogether, Oceaneering will operate more than 200,000 square feet of facilities in Morgan City upon completion of the current expansion.
"The $5 million facility expansion illustrates the commitment Oceaneering has to its Morgan City, Louisiana-based business," said Pat Mannina, Oceaneering's vice president and general manager for the Americas Region. "It will also allow us to improve operational efficiencies between several service lines and further improve the quality of services we provide to our customers operating in the Gulf of Mexico as well as worldwide."
LED FastStart began working with Oceaneering earlier this year and will assist the company in screening, hiring and training new employees. Founded in Morgan City in 1964, Oceaneering initially operated as a diving company specializing in offshore oil and gas services. Now headquartered in Houston, the company operates 267 ROVs, with 70 at work in the Gulf of Mexico. Morgan City provides global ROV production for Oceaneering, and the company will continue to build ROVs in 2012.