LAFAYETTE, La. (William Taylor Potter/The Advertiser)- Economist Loren Scott presented an optimistic outlook for Lafayette’s economy, saying he anticipates a slight resurgence for the area’s oil and gas industry during a presentation to One Acadiana on Wednesday.
Scott, an economics professor emeritus at LSU, authored the 2020-2021 Louisiana Economic Outlook with Greg Upton, a professor at the LSU Center for Energy Studies. The latest report, he said, has positive signs for the Lafayette area and the state.
“He brings us good news,” said Troy Wayman, the head of One Acadiana. “So often we get bad news.”
The outlook relies on a few major assumptions — “heroic assumptions,” Scott called them — to come to optimistic conclusion. One is a modest recovery for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil and gas industry’s decline depressed Lafayette’s economy, but Scott pointed to a few positive signs that seem to indicate a potential rise drilling.
In 2019, lease sales in the gulf are up 52% compared to 2018, and bid values are up 33%. Sales are still below 2014 totals, but are an uptick, Scott said.