The oil and gas industry supported over 345,000 Louisiana jobs, provided over $24.9 billion in wages and contributed more than $59.1 billion to the state’s economy in 2019, according to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers that compiles the latest available government data.i
As the largest private wetlands owner in Louisiana, ConocoPhillips is uniquely positioned to support solutions for sustainable coastal restoration. We work with other landowners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), parishes, and state and federal agencies to recommend and support collaborative project opportunities to enhance habitats and resilience in Louisiana’s coastal zone.
ConocoPhillips in Louisiana
Our history in Louisiana dates back nearly 100 years. Through our subsidiary, The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company LLC (LL&E), we are the largest private wetlands owner in the state, with about 636,000 acres extending 120 miles from the Atchafalaya Basin in the west to the Mississippi River in the east, and from the New Orleans area down to the Gulf of Mexico. Our land spans eight parishes including: Terrebonne, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. John the Baptist, and Iberia. The coastal wetlands are an economic resource for the company through royalties from oil and gas production and surface leases for both commercial and recreational activities.
Through partnerships with public, private, and non-profit organizations, we have been involved in projects that have enhanced or benefitted thousands of acres of wetlands.
Water Control Structures
LL&E, a wholly owned subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, is a pioneer of water control structure implementation, with installations dating back to the 1950s. These structures promote effective freshwater flow and combat saltwater intrusion. A significant number of historical LL&E structures, some operating for nearly 70 years, are still functioning, along with new structures installed through ConocoPhillips’ continued collaboration with Ducks Unlimited.
Ducks Unlimited (DU)
For many years, ConocoPhillips has partnered with Ducks Unlimited to find innovative solutions to coastal restoration. Projects include marsh terracing, freshwater enhancements, marsh creation and a variety of shoreline protection techniques.
Through the partnership, the company has provided over $10 million as seed money for over 20 projects and provided free access to company lands and support through our Coastal Wetlands office in Houma for DU-led projects. These projects have enhanced more than 20,000 acres of wetlands in the state. Click here to learn more about our collaborative conservation partnership with DU.
Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA)
As a landowner, we are uniquely positioned to evaluate and support sustainable solutions. Significant portions of ConocoPhillips’ LL&E property are within the State of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, overseen by the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA).
For decades, ConocoPhillips has actively supported CPRA by providing free access and rights-of-way to LL&E property for CPRA-led coastal restoration projects, spanning hydrological restoration, shoreline protection, marsh creation, terracing, and long-distance sediment delivery. These CPRA projects have benefitted over 147,000 acres of wetlands.
In 1997, LL&E donated 1,630 acres in the Isle Dernieres barrier island chain – which consist of four islands: East, Trinity, Whiskey and Racoon – in Terrebonne Parish to the State of Louisiana. These islands continue to be used for critical restoration work today.
The coastal wetlands provide a buffer for business infrastructure and protection against major storms and tidal surge events. We participate in two major hurricane protection projects: the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Levee and the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System. These levees run through multiple sections of the company’s land to provide protection for the people of Louisiana. To support construction, we provide access and easements to the levee districts, parishes, the State of Louisiana, the federal government, and other agencies at no cost. Through LL&E, ConocoPhillips has granted 25 miles of cost-free rights-of-ways on its lands to local levee districts for the placement of protection levees over the years.
For example, ConocoPhillips recently partnered with the South Lafourche Levee District to raise a portion of Section D-South of the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System. Over the years, more than eight miles of SLLD levee have either been built or enhanced on ConocoPhillips’ property. Click here to learn more.
We regularly interact with diverse stakeholder groups, including local, state, and federal government officials, state and federal agencies, petroleum companies, other landowners, nonprofit organizations, and the general public. We also work closely with numerous universities that need access to wetland marshes for ecological research and studies. University partners include Louisiana State University, Nicholls State University, University of Louisiana and Mississippi State University.