Tomorrow's Great Energy Center for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Compiled by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Oil & Gas Industry

     In the early 1980’s Alabama first leased drilling rights to richly abundant natural gas waters in and around the lower part of Mobile Bay. Since this time, the natural gas infrastructure has steadily grown.

Arkema Inc.  Mobile Alabama     As off shore drilling increases, Mobile area shipbuilders are responding to the market demand. At facilities along the Mobile River and down on Bayou La Batre Canal, companies build off shore supply and rig-tending vessels as well as repair rigs. In addition, these shipyards and others in the area maintain full service repair sites and large floating dry docks capable of overhauling, repairing and upgrading drilling rigs, drill ships, and pipe laying vessels.

     ExxonMobil arrived in 1988 and is the major gas producer in both Mobile Bay and off shore Alabama. While Mobil Oil initially found the natural gas, this discovery was soon followed by both Exxon and Shell Exploration & Production. These companies, along with Williams Mobile Bay Producer Services, process millions of cubic feet of gas per day. From these processing plants, natural gas is piped by way of major interstate pipelines such as Transco, Gulf South, Gulfstream, and Florida Gas Transmission lines to markets throughout the southeast and the entire east coast.

     Natural gas storage is now available for extraction from underground salt domes in McIntosh (north of Mobile) by Sempra Pipelines & Storage. Berg Spiral Pipe Corporation has built a new Greenfield DSAW Spiral Welded Pipe Mill in Mobile with sizes from 24” through 56” to satisfy customer requirements for on shore and off shore gas pipelines. Serimax North America is a global enterprise service provider to the oil & gas industry with world class welding and fabrication services.

Technip's Deep Blue - Mobile Alabama     With a list of high profile companies like Aker Solutions, ExxonMobil, Shell, BAE Systems, Offshore Inland and Technip located in and around Mobile, the area offers a highly knowledgeable workforce to oil and gas companies. Located in a right-to-work state, Mobile has favorable labor/management conditions, competitive wage rates, and a large regional and highly skilled workforce. This and the area’s business-friendly tax policy make the cost of operation very attractive.

     Alabama has one of the best manufacturing training programs in the United States, according to a recent edition of Expansion Management Magazine. With more than 30 years experience, AIDT has established a proven method of recruiting, screening, and training for company start ups and expanding workforces. This program is immediately available to all Alabama companies with a significant hiring need. AIDT’s program is provided free of charge, and is custom-tailored to individual company needs. The AIDT Maritime Training Center in Mobile opened in 2010 to support the booming shipbuilding industry and provides a variety of training for craft skills.

     The Alabama State Port Authority’s Middle Bay Port is located south of Mobile on the Theodore Industrial Canal. The ship canal is maintained at a 40 foot draft and is located 22 miles from the Gulf of Mexico sea buoy. In addition to the Alabama State Port Authority, the ship canal is home to Aker Solutions, Offshore Inland Marine, Technip’s “spool base” home base for Technip’s “Deep Blue” and “Apache II” pipe-laying vessels as well as three shore base service contractors – Midstream Fuel Service, Construction Solutions, and Core Industries. These shore bases are able to provide products and services to drilling rigs and platforms in shallow water, deepwater, and ultradeepwater. Additionally, 24 hour fuel service is available at these facilities.

Exxon Oil Rig - Mobile Alabama     A four-lane highway provides east access from Interstate 10 to Middle Bay Port and the Theodore Industrial Canal. I-10 borders Brookley Airport and the Aeroplex and is situated seven miles from the Theodore Industrial Canal.

     As a growing natural gas cluster, the Mobile area is the home to an expanding community of over 180 businesses serving the oil and gas industry. The area continues to attract companies who support the exploration and drilling in state waters and in the adjacent federal government deepwater and the outer
continental shelf. With an excellent location, easy accessibility, and low cost of operation, Mobile will continue to play an increasingly significant role as more drilling activity occurs in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

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