Gulf Oil Spill Update: July 6, 2010
So far, energy production, imports, and refining, as well as oil production and imports, remain unaffected by the Gulf oil spill. The spill's impact on employment in the energy industry will likely be a different story, however, if the contested moratorium halts deepwater drilling. Tourism is another sector that could experience significant effects from the spill. According to anecdotal evidence, bookings in the region continue to decline. This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the Gulf's no-fishing areas. Read the details here.
Agriculture & Fishing
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the areas in the Gulf closed to fishing. The expanded closure measures 81,181 square miles and covers about 34 percent of the Gulf of Mexico. This leaves more than 65 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing.
Energy production, imports, and refining remain unaffected. Oil production and imports show no significant change since the spill began.
National employment in the oil and gas well drilling industry accounted for 63,012 jobs in September 2009, which is the most recent period available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. The data do not differentiate between onshore and offshore jobs.
Nationally, there are roughly 2.5 jobs in drilling services firms for every 1 job in drilling companies. That ratio is higher in Louisiana.
Industry experts provide varying estimates of the potential employment loss tied to the moratorium.
Currently, 3,300 Louisiana rig workers are at risk if the moratorium lasts a year. At least 9,300 Louisiana jobs may be lost, from the rigs themselves and from suppliers...
—David Dismukes, Louisiana State University's Center for Energy Studies
A moratorium would result in the layoffs of about 5,000 Louisiana-based rig and drilling workers, and 5,000 more in other states.
—Eric Smith, Tulane Energy Institute
Each drilling platform averages 90 to 140 employees at any one time (two shifts per day), and 180 to 280 for two two-week shifts. Each job supports four other positions. Therefore, 800 to 1,400 jobs per idle rig platform are at risk.
—Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association
An extended moratorium will cost up to 200,000 jobs in the oil drilling and oil service business. An employment multiplier of 4.7 will put the total job loss at nearly 1 million permanent employment loss over the next few years.
—David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors
Port activity remains unaffected. Incoming vessel assessments are being conducted, but no disruption to shipments have been reported.
Travel & Tourism
Hotel data are mixed, but anecdotal information is consistent: tourist activity is declining along the Gulf Coast, but cleanup workers are providing some offset.
We're looking at year-over-year comparison where last summer was just not a good year at all. It's not like this is a banner year for occupancy. Whether it's a result of changing business mix or hoteliers slashing rates to attract weary leisure travelers, average daily rates are on the decline—to the tune of 2.3 percent for the week ending 19 June.
—Smith Travel Research
For June, our Gulf Coast hotels are seeing room night declines of 15.9 percent and revenue declines of 14.5 percent versus last year.
The amount of group business on the books in the Florida Panhandle region is up significantly from last year, but the pace of new bookings for the past 28 days is down 97.2 percent.
In a late June survey of 50 hotels across the Gulf Coast that host meetings and events, 66 percent reported an increase in bookings because of the oil spill cleanup.
—The Knowland Group