LSU CES News 2015 Full






What If the Crude Oil Export Ban Were Lifted?

Gregory Upton, assistant professor, LSU Center for Energy Studies, has released a report that analyzes the potential economic implications of the removal of the export ban on crude oil. The ban has been in place since the adoption of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). The study, titled “Crude Oil Exports and the Louisiana Economy:  A discussion of U.S. policy of restricting crude oil exports and its implications for Louisiana,” takes into account implications of the ban in light of the recent shale boom, which has created historic increases in oil and gas production and has prompted Congress to consider whether the export ban is still in the best interest of the nation.

Upton’s analysis considers the claims made by prior studies that, should the ban be repealed, there would be significant economic benefits primarily due to increases in domestic oil production and that the lifting of the ban would not lead to increases in gasoline prices for consumers but could possibly result in a drop in gasoline prices.

In addition to determining the plausibility of the claims made by previous studies, Upton considers how the lifting of the export ban might impact Louisiana’s economy by focusing on the likely effects of the ban on Gulf Coast oil producers (upstream) and refineries and petrochemical plants (downstream).   His results suggest that large economic benefits associated with the removal of the export ban are implausible.

“Most of the price differential between domestic and foreign crude prices is likely associated with shipping costs and constraints within the U.S., not the export ban,” Upton said. “And while refineries in general benefit from the export ban at the expense of producers, these transfers are transitory and are likely not large in magnitude.”

Upton’s analysis does corroborate other studies that have determined that the lifting of the ban would not likely impact gasoline prices.

“The purpose of the study is not to make a specific recommendation on whether the ban should be lifted,” he said. “Nor does it quantify a net cost/benefit to Louisiana’s economy, but it does identify specific tradeoffs that can be considered by policymakers when deciding whether the ban is in Louisiana’s or the United States’ interest.”

The report states that the export ban is effectively a protectionist policy for the refining and petrochemical industries and that, if U.S. crude production continues to rise and reaches a point for which current refining capacity is insufficient to process the domestic crude, an export ban effectively guarantees that the investment in new refining capacity will be here in the U.S.

To view or download a cop of the report, click HERE.



Upton to Speak at Saturday Science Oct. 31

Greg Upton, CES assistant professor, will discuss "Energy, Economics, and the Environment," Saturday, Oct. 31, as part of the College of Science's Saturday Science lecture series. The lecture will be held in Room 130 Nicholson Hall, 10-11 a.m.

Upton's research interests are related to the analysis of economic, statistical and public policy issues in energy and regulated industries. He received his Ph.D, M.S. and B.S. in economics, with a focus on empirical analysis, from Louisiana State University. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics in the E.J. Ourso College of Business at LSU and is a member of the Southern Economic Association (SEA) and International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE).



Internship Opportunity

Position:  One or more marketing interns, at the graduate or undergraduate level, for the fall 2015 semester, to assist in the development and execution of marketing plans for a variety of energy-related products and services. Hours flexible but no more than 20 per week.

Job Description: The LSU Center for Energy Studies is seeking a motivated graduate or undergraduate student in business or marketing to develop and execute a series of marketing plans for a range of energy-related products and services that are under development or anticipated to be under-development, by one or more of the units that are part of the Center for Energy Studies.

• Assist in the identification of products and services, their respective target markets, and likely product marketing and development costs.
• Assist in the research of pricing strategies and competing products.
• Limited development of marketing budgets (on individual products) and limited pro-forma analyses.
• Development of marketing and advertising strategy.
• Assist in the development and management of web-based platforms to market, advertise, and sell various products and services.
• Assist in the distribution of products.
• Assist in the development of customer service protocols including responses to customer inquiries as well as the execution of product transactions, from order placement through delivery.
• Effectively utilize the Center’s communications tools, including social media, to promote products.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Creativity and passion for marketing and its best practices.
• Professionalism and strong work ethic.
• Some marketing experience or evidence of excellence in marketing course work and projects.

DEADLINE: September 11, 2015, or until a suitable candidate is found.
Send contact information and résumé to Marybeth Pinsonneault at



Wang Named Health Physics Society Fellow

Wei-Hsung Wang, professor at the Center for Energy Studies and director of Radiation Safety Office, was elected as a fellow of the Health Physics Society, an honor limited to less than one-half of one percent of the society’s members. The Fellow Awards are designed to honor senior members of the society who have made significant administrative, educational, and/or scientific contributions to the profession of health physics. The selection was made by the society’s awards committee, which is composed of the president and four most recent past presidents of the society.

Wang, along with nine other members from Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University, Florida Department of Health, King & Spalding, LLP, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, MJW Corporation, University of California Davis, and University of Michigan, were recognized for their accomplishments at the 60th Health Physics Society Annual Meeting awards banquet in Indianapolis on July 14, 2015.

Wang is vice chair of the American Board of Health Physics Part II Panel of Examiners and a member of the society’s Academic Education Committee. He has served as a radiological expert on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Radiological Ideas Workshop after the Fukushima nuclear incident and was an invited panelist on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Radiation Protection Standards Workshop to discuss the potential changes to the NRC’s radiation protection regulations and guidance in light of recommendations in International Commission on Radiation Protection Publication 103. 

Wang is certified by the American Board of Health Physics, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and the Board of Laser Safety.



Energy Summit™ 2015 October 21

The theme of this year's Energy Summit™ is "Disruptive and Game-Changing Energy Trends: Implications for Louisiana."

For more information and online registration info, CLICK HERE.



La. Geological Survey Cartographers Take Top Prize at National Map Competition: Map in Library of Congress

Cartographers with the Louisiana Geological Survey at LSU have won “Best of Category in the Recreational/Travel Map Category” in this year’s Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) Map Competition. Lisa Pond and Robert Paulsell’s “Bayou Teche Paddle Trail and Historical and Cultural Map” took the prestigious honor at the 42nd CaGIS Map Design Competition, for maps created in 2014, at Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, March 7, 2015. The map was produced in conjunction with the TECHE Project, a non-profit organization that manages the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, a U.S. Department of the Interior Water Trail.

A copy of the map has been sent to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., for posterity.

The front side is a map of the Bayou Teche Canoe Trail with oversized, easy-to-read symbols depicting access points, facilities, towns, local roads and other information required by a canoeist traversing the bayou. The reverse side is a historical and cultural map of the same area, for activity planning and a taste of local culture when exploring ashore. A PDF version is also provided for use on digital devices.

Copies are available at Cajun Paddle in Breaux Bridge, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette, Le Vieux Village Tourist Information Center in Opelousas, Iberia Chamber of Commerce in New Iberia and on the Teche Project website. Visit Louisiana Geological Survey on-line map repository at

About the LGS cartographers: Pond, who has been with LGS since 1989, specializes in the creation of scientific and educational documents. Her areas of expertise include the design and production of maps, publications, technical documents, and posters. Paulsell joined the LGS in 1990. He specializes in geographic information systems, map production, and global positioning system technology, the compilation of spatial data using GPS and imagery, and the design and development of derivative GIS and cartographic products. 

The LGS Cartographic Section has won numerous awards since 2000, including the 2005 CaGIS Best in Category Reference Map award for “The Atchafalaya Basin,” a two-sided map of the basin, featuring a satellite image on one side and a detailed map on the other.

CaGIS members include educators, researchers and practitioners involved in the design, creation, use and dissemination of geographic information. The organization networks professionals who work in the broad field of cartography and geographic information science both nationally and internationally.



CES to Co-host Gulf Coast Power Association Special Briefing

The Center for Energy Studies will co-host a one-day workshop titled "Gulf Coast Disaster Readiness: A Past, Present and Future Look at Power and Industry Readiness in MISO South" on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. This Gulf Coast Power Association MISO special briefing will be held on the LSU campus in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building's Dalton J. Woods Auditorium.

Click here for details.



New location: Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo, May 22, 2015

The Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo will now be held May 22, 2015, at the Capitol Park Welcome Center in downtown Baton Rouge. 

Hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels, in collaboration with the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership, and sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the event aims to educate and assist public and private fleet managers to diversify transportation fuels in their fleets by incorporating alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.

Guest speakers include  

Matt Krasney, Director of Alternative Energy, Penske

Steve Saltzgiver, Vice President of Fleet, Republic Services

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne

The conference is free and open to the public. 

For registration information and agenda, click here.




Kaiser Provides Insight into Decommissioning Structures in the Gulf of Mexico

In the presentation "Deepwater Cost Estimation & Removal Forecast in the Gulf of Mexico," CES Professor Mark Kaiser provides an analysis of decommissioning costs in the Gulf of Mexico. Kaiser presented the report at the 7th Annual Decommissioning and Abandonment Summit in Houston, March 17-19, 2015. 

Key topics include:

  • New cost estimation methodology for decommissioning oil and gas installations
  • Insight into installation, removal and liability trends in the Gulf
  • An innovative methodology to forecast asset removal dates

To view the presentation via the Decomworld website, click here.



Dismukes: Outlook for the Louisiana market remains positive

CES Executive Director David Dismukes gave the keynote address at the “Industry on the
Move: What’s Next?” event presented by Regions Bank and 10/12 Industry Report at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Click here to view or download the presentation, titled "What will the changes in energy prices mean to industry in South Louisiana?"

Read the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report article here.



Dismukes Featured Speaker at LSU Science Café April 28

CES Executive Director David Dismukes will be the featured speaker at the LSU Science Café on Tuesday, April 28, 5-7 p.m. at Chelsea's. He will give an update on some of the most pressing issues pertaining to the state’s energy industry.

The LSU Science Cafés are sponsored by the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development. The events take place at Chelseas Cafe, 2857 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, on the last Tuesday of each month.



LSU Power Players Awarded LIFT2 Grants

In early March, faculty representing all five of LSU’s research campuses were awarded grants totaling $500,000 through the LIFT2 Grant Program. More than $71,000 was awarded in support of energy-related research:

Dandina Rao, professor, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, was awarded $41,021, for continued work on a gas-assisted process that could double or even triple secondary oil recovery efforts for most oil wells.

Arash Taleghani, assistant professor, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, and Guoqiang Li, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, were awarded a LIFT grant of $30,268 for their work on the development of small particles, called proppants,  that  could “reduce the need for refracturing, leading to more efficient and environmentally friendly fracking operations.”

LIFT, or Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer, is designed to help researchers complete projects that could lead to marketable products.  The grants program was created by the LSU Board of Supervisors in January 2014. Its first $500,000 distribution was announced in July.

For more on the LIFT2 awards, read The Advocate's article and LSU's announcement.  



LSU Highlights Energy Research, Industry Partnerships

On February 18, LSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development, with Communications and University Relations, launched an initiative to promote the University’s considerable breadth and depth of energy-related research. The goal of the campaign, titled “Power Players,” is to stimulate research partnerships between the University and industry in disciplines including geological exploration, hydraulic fracturing, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, materials, efficiency, electrical conductivity, nuclear, and environmental and socioeconomic issues. CES Executive Director David Dismukes is featured in a Power Players video interview and Q&A. 

For more on the Power Players initiative, visit Office of Research & Economic Development Special Initiatives



Dismukes Discusses Oil Prices, Tuscaloosa Marine Shale

David Dismukes, CES executive director, presented "Energy Prices and the Outlook for the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale," to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Wednesday, January 28, 2015. In his presentation, Dismukes said that most analysts agree that oil prices are unlikely to rebound very far from
their current sub-$50 level for at least another year or so, but the outlook for industrial development is still positive.

To view the presentation, click here.

View the LPB Newsmakers video of the talk here.

Related stories:

"LSU energy center head expects low oil prices for several years," Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Daily Report, January 28, 2015.

"Why Sasol is delaying $14B fuel facility -- the priciest industrial investment in Louisiana history," The Advocate, January 29, 2015.

"Plans for export facilities in doubt," The Advocate, January 29, 2015.

"Despite Sasol, oil price slump not an immediate threat to new Louisiana projects,", January 28, 2015.