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If you wanted to build an oil
and gas industry, Louisiana would be an ideal place to study to find out how. That's
why a delegation of ten high ranking Israeli energy officials paid a visit to
Southwest Louisiana this week.
The oil in gas industry in
Israel is in its infancy but expected to grow due to large energy finds
there. A trade mission to Israel last October was just the start of
Louisiana's possible role.
Local economic development
officials say Israel and Southwest Louisiana are developing a relationship that
will likely benefit both.
It all started last October
when Louisiana officials went on a trade mission to Israel. U.S. Ambassador
to Israel, Ambassador Shapiro stated that this was a historical trade mission
because it was the first oil and gas trade mission between the United States
and Israel in the history of the two countries.
Now Israeli energy officials
have come to Louisiana to learn more about the oil and gas industry here.
Landrieu made that invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu and he responded by
sending a delegation of ten of his senior officials from the Department of
Energy in Israel," said Conner.
David Conner with the
Southwest Louisiana alliance was on the trip this week which included a visit
to Cheniere Energy.
"These guys are looking
to understand how we do policy, how we do regulations, how we deal with
environmental issues and permitting and those kind of things. In addition to
that, they wanted to see some of our port operations, we had them down at Port
Fourchon," said Conner.
So, as Israel strives to
develop its energy independence, what's in it for Southwest Louisiana?
"For us it's the
beginning of relationships for future trade, if they are interested in
exporting their natural gas at some point in time, well our industries here
have that expertise and maybe can partner at some point in the future to help
them bring that technology to Israel," said Conner.
Conner thinks there are even
more far reaching possibilities.
"One of the things that
they have that their neighboring countries don't have is the natural gas finds.
So, if it happens that these guys are providing natural gas to their neighbors
and they become trade partners, what does that mean for the relationships for
between those countries? And what does that do for stability in the Middle East?
It could have an impact that way. It very well could (make the situation more
Conner says expertise and our
ability to train a work force are potential exports to Israel. He encourages
any business interested in identifying potential international markets to
contact the alliance.
Local Alliance spokesman
David Conner says the visit was a follow up to the trade mission to Israel and
also to allow the visitors to see our capabilities in the energy
Conner says twelve companies
were represented on the trip to Israel last October.