U.S. Sen. David Vitter today secured a critical step to deepen Port Fourchon in the Senate Environment and Public Works. Vitter's resolution in the committee requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review Port Fourchon's nearly two decades old Chief's Report to justify deepening the port to expand services for oil and natural gas exploration and industry-related activities. Vitter's resolution was agreed to by unanimous consent and requires no additional congressional action.
"Port Fourchon is our nation's largest offshore energy hub, and 18 percent of our nation's oil and gas supply comes straight from this port," Vitter said. "Keeping the depths at proper levels is absolutely critical to allow the port to continue servicing our nation's energy economy and the many jobs associated with it. The depths are currently outdated, and my resolution is a huge step forward to keeping Port Fourchon viable so it can keep our economy moving."
"This study resolution is the first step for Port Fourchon to meet the high demand for depths that would allow the deepwater oil and gas industry to be serviced more efficiently to better provide for the energy needs of our nation," said Chett Chiasson, Executive Director of Port Fourchon. "Thanks to Senator Vitter for recognizing this and moving the resolution through the committee. Additionally, deeper drafts would also allow for better oil spill response capabilities for the Gulf Mexico."
Port Fourchon's primary service markets are domestic deepwater oil and gas exploration, drilling, and production in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 270 large supply vessels traverse the Port's channel each day and over 250 companies utilize the Port as a base of operation. The Port currently services over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater oil production.
Port Fourchon is Louisiana's southernmost port, located in Lafourche Parish on the Gulf of Mexico. This coastal port currently has an authorized depth of 26 feet and handles significant traffic from offshore Gulf oil platforms and drilling rigs as well as the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port pipeline. Vitter's resolution requires a study to increase that depth.