Kazakhstan Ambassador and Congressman Melancon Visit Port Fourchon

(GALLIANO, LA, APRIL 24, 2006) – On Sunday, Ambassador Kanat Saudabayev from Kazakhstan and Congressman Charlie Melancon visited Port Fourchon. Ted Falgout, director of the Port gave a presentation on the importance of Port Fourchon to the nation’s energy and its history.

“The Port Commission was established in the 1960s, but the real success of the Port began when the Royalty Relief Act was passed by Congress in 1995.” Falgout continues, “The Royalty Relief Act gave tax incentives to companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and huge amounts of oil and gas are being found.”

Mr. Falgout went on to explain that Port Fourchon is important to the commercial fishing industry as well as the oil industry. “Port Fourchon proves that oil and seafood does mix,” said Falgout.

Ambassador Saudabayev commented on the seafood industry and said, “This says a lot about how environmentally safe the oil industry is here.”

Mr. Falgout explained that there is very little oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. “LOOP is the safest way to transmit foreign oil and the pipeline network servicing the domestic production also has an excellent track record,” said Falgout.

Kazakhstan is located near the northeast portion of the Caspian Sea in central Asia and claims most of the Sea’s biggest known oil fields and has significant oil and natural gas reserves. After years of foreign investment into the country’s oil and natural gas sectors, the landlocked Central Asian state has recently begun to realize its enormous production potential.

Congressman Melancon said, “Kazakhstan’s location on the Caspian Sea aids itself to oil exploration. There is a substantial amount of oil and gas in the area, and they are trying to learn from us on how to build a port to service the industry and put infrastructure in place.” Melancon continues, “It is an opportunity for our Louisiana companies to go overseas and expand their business by using their oil and gas expertise.”

Experts say that with sufficient export options, Kazakhstan could become a major world energy producer and exporter over the next decade.