main elements of the Louisiana economy are: the production of minerals,
particularly oil and natural gas, but also sulphur, lime, salt and
lignite; petroleum refining; chemical and petrochemical manufacturing;
tourism; forestry; pulp, plywood and papermaking; agriculture and
food processing; commercial fishing; shipping and international
trade; shipbuilding, and general manufacturing.
And Natural Gas And Minerals Production
contains just under 10 percent of all known U.S. oil reserves and
is the country's third largest producer of petroleum. Its reserves
of natural gas are even larger and it produces just over one-quarter
of all U.S. supplies. Louisiana also has immense quantities of salt
contained in huge underground formations, some of which are a mile
across and up to 50,000 feet deep and produce almost 100 percent
pure rock salt. The first sulphur mined in America came from Louisiana
and the state is still a principal producer of the mineral.
petroleum refineries produce enough gasoline annually (15 billion
gallons) to fill up 800 million automobile gas tanks, making the
state the third leading refiner. The state's 16 refineries include
one of the four largest in the Western Hemisphere and among the
companies with Louisiana production facilities are Exxon, Shell,
Citgo. Mobil, Marathon, Conoco, BP and STAR. In addition to producing
gasoline, Louisiana refineries also produce jet fuels, lubricants
and some 600 other petroleum products.
ranks second in the nation in the primary production of petrochemicals.
More than 100 major chemical plants are located in the state producing
a variety of "building block" chemicals, fertilizers and plastics,
plus the feedstocks for a wide array of other products. Synthetic
rubber was first developed and produced commercially in Louisiana
as were a number of other petroleum-related products.
is a major Louisiana industry employing over 87,000 workers. Travelers
spend an estimated $5.2 billion in the state each year. Major tourist
attractions include the New Orleans French Quarter, the Cajun Country,
antebellum plantation homes, Jazz, distinctive food, deep sea and
freshwater fishing, hunting, the Mardi Gras and more than 100 other
festivals, swampland tours, hiking and camping, canoeing and Mississippi
River boat rides.
shipyards build every kind of seagoing vessel from giant cryogenic
ships used to transport liquified natural gas to some of the largest
offshore oil and gas exploration rigs in the world. They also build
merchant vessels, Coast Guard cutters, barges, tugs, supply boats,
fishing vessels, pleasure craft and river patrol boats. The largest
industrial employer in the state is Avondale Shipyards on the Mississippi
River near New Orleans where vessels are sometimes built upside
down and ships are launched sideways into the river rather than
stern first as is the custom elsewhere.
and Forest Products
has more than 13.9 million acres of forests, including pine, oak,
gum and cypress. Approximately one billion board feet of timber
and 3.6 million cords of pulpwood are cut annually to support a
variety of forest-related industries including Kraft paper and fine-paper
mills, plywood and particle board plants, furniture and flooring
manufacturers, pulp mills, liner board and container board factories
and paper bag plants.
and Food Processing
is among the top 10 states in the production of sugar cane (2nd),
sweet potatoes (2nd), rice (3rd) and cotton (5th). It is also a
major producer of beef cattle. Louisiana is the sole source of the
Tabasco pepper prized as a condiment around the world and is also
the sole source of perique tobacco which is widely used as flavoring
with other tobaccos. The state's huge agricultural production supports
more than a dozen rice mills, seven sugar refineries plus nearly
two dozen other sugar-related facilities, and a number of canning
plants, cotton gins and meat packaging plants.
commercial fishing industry catches about 25 percent of all the
seafood landed in America and holds the record for the largest catch
ever landed in a single year, 1.9 billion pounds. The state is the
largest producer of shrimp and oysters in the U.S. Louisiana waters
also yield menhaden, crab, butterfish, drum, red snapper, tuna and
tile fish as well as a variety of game fish, including tarpon. The
state's freshwater fishery is considered the most diversified in
the U.S., and, in addition to fish, its commercial ponds and the
Atchafalaya River Basin swamp produce millions of pounds of crawfish
and International Commerce
was originally purchased from France in order to secure the Mississippi
River and the port of New Orleans for the safe movement of the goods
and produce of the fledgling United States. Today, it remains a
major avenue for the import and export of goods. The state's five
major ports handle roughly 400 million short tons of cargo a year,
including more than 40 percent of all the grain exported from the
U.S. More than 25 percent of the nation's waterborne exports pass
through Louisiana, and its Superport is the only facility in the
U.S. capable of handling ultra deep draft vessels drawing 100 feet
of water. More than 5,000 ocean-going ships call at Louisiana ports
each year along with a seemingly endless stream of barge tows, some
of which carry more than 40,000 tons of cargo, more than many seagoing
ships. And more than 185 years after its purchase from Napoleon,
Louisiana remains a center for foreign investment with some 200
foreign companies having almost $16 billion invested in the state,
the largest amount of foreign investment in any southeastern state
and ninth largest among all states.
addition to its resource-based industries, Louisiana also has a
diverse general manufacturing base. Louisiana produces business
telephone systems, assembles light trucks, manufactures electrical
equipment, manufactures pharmaceuticals, glass products and automobile
batteries, as well as specialized vehicles for traveling over marshes,
maritime ranging equipment to let boats know where they are at sea,
makes playground equipment, mobile homes, yachts, clothing and weapons,
plus several hundred other products.
Martin Marietta employs more than 2500 workers in New Orleans to
construct the external fuel tanks for NASA's space shuttle program,
it is not Louisiana's only link to the nation's space program. NASA
also operates an aerospace computer services center in Slidell.
The state also has an emerging aviation services sector. The Boeing
Corporation operates a major, aviation maintenance facility in Lake
Charles which employs some 2,000 workers to repair and refit jet
aircraft, while Collins Defense Communications, a division of Rockwell
International, operates an aircraft modification center in Shreveport.
excels in the three most promising areas of biotechnological research
and development - bioprocess, recombinant DNA and monoclonal antibody
technology. Scientists at Louisiana State University were the first
in the world to bring about the successful birth of a calf from
one quarter of a transplanted embryo. Louisiana's growing role in
the world of biotechnological research is augmented by the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center, a world-class facility in Baton Rouge
which specializes in the study of the role of nutrition in health.
film history dates back to a 1908 production on "Faust." Last year
(1994), production revenues from feature films, television, commercials
and music videos produced in the state totaled more than $37 million.
Recent feature films shot here include Interview with the Vampire,
The Pelican Brief, and Heaven's Prisoners. The Louisiana Film Commission
offers a variety of services to both in-state and out-of-state production