It is difficult to measure the significance of Port Fourchon by a single standard such as tons of cargo, barrels of oil, worth of seafood, or number of recreational users. No all-encompassing method exists to measure Fourchon’s activity against the more traditional port.
The overwhelming majority (over 95%) of tonnage handled at the port is oil and gas related. Every widget and gadget needed to support the oil and gas industry is handled as cargo by port tenants, who transfer approximately 25 million tons per year. It moves through container, bulk, breakbulk, and just about every method imaginable. Approximately 30% of total tonnage travels to and from the port by inland barge before being transferred to or from an offshore supply vessel, and 70% travels to and from the port by vehicle before being transferred to or from an offshore supply vessel or helicopter.
The commodities commonly barged are liquid bulk commodities such as oilfield drilling fluids, heavy waters, cement, and fuel. The most common vehicular-transported cargoes include machinery, pipe, personnel, dry bulk, food, waste, and specialty tools.
Port Fourchon’s proximity to the majority of Gulf of Mexico projects provides a strategic logistical advantage for servicing those projects.
Port Fourchon alone services over 90% of deepwater structures and has earned its tagline, “The Gulf’s Energy Connection,” as the major service base for deepwater Gulf energy production.
In this business, saving time means saving money! Port Fourchon’s location on the Gulf of Mexico makes it a cost-effective option for service of drilling activity, rig repair and refurbishment, and shipping.
- Deepwater Oil & Gas
Port Fourchon’s unprecedented growth is largely a result of oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico. America’s expanding frontier is the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and Port Fourchon continues to remain the leading supply base for that frontier. Port Fourchon is the only port in Louisiana that has the capacity to serve OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) activities, with adequate water depths and state-of-the-art facilities.
Fourchon’s waterways can accommodate drafts of 24 feet, and they house industry-specific facilities unlike any others in the world. Port Fourchon is home to over 250 companies whose presence makes Port Fourchon the premier intermodal hub in support of Gulf OCS activities. As a result, of the current and pending deepwater projects that have been identified to date, an overwhelming majority of them (around 95%) are using or plan to use Port Fourchon as their service base.
Continued technologies enhancements and long-range strategic planning of port facilities have enhanced the competitive advantage of companies operating from Port Fourchon and have enabled port users to meet the needs of oil and gas drillers, producers, and operators, all while saving time and money.
The Gulf of Mexico’s OCS contains more than half of the nation’s undiscovered oil and gas resources, and the Commission is committed to ensuring that Fourchon’s physical attributes remain most conducive to supporting the growing needs of deepwater activity.
- Rig Refurbishment
Port Fourchon’s proximity to the drilling activity in the Central Gulf of Mexico makes it a cost-effective option for drilling rig companies in need of rig repair and refurbishment facilities. Port Fourchon’s location allows its users to save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by decreasing tow time and turnaround time for rigs moving in for repair. And in this business, saving time means saving money.
Recent channel improvements, the creation of 700-foot-wide slips, and the construction of a major rig repair facility in the port’s Northern Expansion area have positioned Port Fourchon to attract a substantial amount of this drilling rig repair business.
In October 2003, Louisiana voters passed Constitutional Amendment No. 8, which enables individual parishes to remove the ad valorem tax on drilling rigs located in Louisiana for repair or refurbishment. In January 2004, Lafourche Parish voters became the first in the state to repeal this tax, thereby enhancing Port Fourchon’s ability to economically accommodate rig repair business.
With the abolition of the drilling rig ad valorem tax and the construction of rig repair facilities in the Northern Expansion, Fourchon has positioned itself to be the most cost-effective location for the servicing of drilling rigs in the Gulf. The Commission is committed to working with private interests to design and build facilities and infrastructure that will most effectively meet the needs of drilling companies for the repair and refurbishment of drilling rigs in Port Fourchon.
Drilling Rig Accommodations:
- Main Channel Depth: 24 feet
- Main Channel Width: 300 feet
- Slip Widths: up to 700 feet
- Average Rig Towing time: three hours (from Gulf to rig repair facility in Northern Expansion)
- Ad Valorem Tax Exempt
The advantages that have made Port Fourchon the premier port for deepwater drilling and rig refurbishment – saving time and money – are valuable for shipping as well. Shipping has become a vital part of the port’s activity.
Once again, the exceptional location allows easy access for all types of cargoes, whether containerized or breakbulk. Exports as well as imports can be handled, and trucking to any point in the United States within three days is available.
Port Fourchon’s proximity to the ports of Central America can be an asset for the shipping of refrigerated produce. When dealing with perishable cargo, the faster the produce gets to market, the better. Cantaloupes, watermelons, bananas, cucumbers, and squash have been successfully handled through Port Fourchon from Honduras on their way to New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, and California.
US Customs and Border Protection maintains a presence in Port Fourchon to inspect and clear cargo with minimum delays when a vessel arrives. Vessel Agency Services and Custom House Broker Services are available at the port to help with all cargo requirements. The combination of convenient assistance, experienced non-union labor, transloading, and competitive rates make Port Fourchon an efficient and economical port for shipping.