This paper was prepared for the Second Biennial Symposium on Environmental Conservation presented by the Evangeline Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Lafayette, La., Nov. 13–14, 1972. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.


Deep-water port development involves consideration of a variety of environmental factors that influence facility site selection, design, construction and operation. These factors concern processes or conditions that directly limit port development actions and secondary constraints imposed by possible adverse effects that such actions might possible adverse effects that such actions might impose on the environment. Direct environmental constraints—relating to water depth, currents, circulation patterns, wave conditions, meteorology-climatology, sea floor slopes, foundation conditions, etc.—have long been considered in marine construction projects. Consideration of secondary constraints has received primary impetus from passage of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Secondary constraints—derived from assessment of possible environmental impacts associated with deep-water port development—have both spatial and temporal elements. Environmental problems associated with offshore structures problems associated with offshore structures involve dredging and other site preparation activities during construction and, subsequently, maintenance dredging, possible massive spills and expected operational leakages. Land links to onshore support facilities provide additional problems in terms of construction, maintenance, and operation of pipelines and other commodity transfer and supply systems. Onshore support facility construction, operation and development may well have the most significant environmental impact because of possible location in fragile and economically possible location in fragile and economically important marsh-estuary areas. This is especially true should such facilities require significant acreages of important wildlife habitats or fishery nursery grounds and induce the movement of large numbers of people into the region. All offshore-onshore constraints/ impacts must be considered from the standpoint of pollution (air, water, land), ecosystem stability, esthetics and human interest if environmental aspects of deep-water port development are to be adequately assessed.


From a natural resources standpoint, Louisiana's coastal zone is one of the most productive areas in the world. A wide variety of productive areas in the world. A wide variety of floral and faunal species proliferate and its mineral wealth is universally recognized.

The coastal zone includes extensive bodies of fresh to salt water and thousands of miles of highly-crenulated marsh shoreline.

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