Old Gulf of Mexico oil rigs drive economic growth

Expert says leaving decommissioned rigs would create thousands of jobs, generate millions of dollars

In additional to the repercussions to the fish habitats and those who love to fish around the rigs, there is also a very big economic impact at stake.“The platforms are currently used extensively by fisherman and divers,” EcoRigs’ Steve Kolian said. “They generate $324 million annually and create 5,560 full-time jobs in the marine sport-fishing and diving industries. Commercial fisheries create 30,000 jobs and $2.8 billion annually in economic benefits to the Louisiana economy.

“If the retired platforms were left intact and standing as artificial reefs, and properly managed to maximize their potential for sustainable fisheries, the new industry could directly employ 27,000 citizens in the coastal communities.”