Local oil and economic experts weigh in on coronavirus impact


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Oil prices are plunging as a dispute among producers could lead to a global economy weakened because of the coronavirus, according to CBS.

The dramatic losses follow a more than 10% drop for U.S. oil Friday, its biggest loss in more than five years.

Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), said, “The coronavirus is affecting everyone, and what I mean by that is everyone in business is going to, a certain extent, unless you’re in the medical industry, suffer from this.

People will not be out in public places. Festivals and things like that are being canceled.”​

Gothreaux said jobs will be impacted because of the coronavirus, but the question is how long.​​”The price of oil is going to affect the local workforce.

The bottom line is if the price stays low for a long period of time, the people in deepwater probably won’t be very affected, but the local folks involved in oil and gas expiration will. It will impact jobs overtime,” added Gothreaux.

Frank Harrison, President of Optimistic Energy in Lafayette and a Petroleum Geologist, explained, “Oil and gas has always been an industry where you have to be optimistic, and when disaster comes along, as maybe we’re having a bad experience right now, you have to take a deep breath and move forward.”​​Harrison says being optimistic is key.​​

“The industry doesn’t shut down. It’s going to continue. It’s going to move forward. It’s going to be limited, and there will be a lot more caution. I totally believe that within a fairly limited amount of time, we’ll be back at a price on oil that will allow us to continue to operate and drill successfully,” said Harrison.

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