Pelican Energy Consultants, of Madisonville, will add about 195 jobs in Louisiana over the next four years as it more than doubles its workforce to expand its global reach, state and company officials announced Monday.
Most of the new jobs will be engineering or technical drafting and design positions, company CEO and founder Kenny Bogle said at a news conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal. In addition to the jobs, which Jindal said would have an average salary of $90,000, the company will spend $5 million to build a new 35,000-square-foot office building in St. Tammany Parish by 2018.
One of the main drivers in the company’s expansion is its focus on services in enhanced oil recovery, a process by which carbon dioxide is injected into the ground to help wells extract a greater percentage of the oil than they could otherwise.
The company also has offices in Metairie, Houston and Accra, Ghana, and now employs about 165 people, Bogle said.
Bogle, a Covington High School and University of New Orleans graduate, founded the company along with his wife Christa in 2005, just weeks before Hurricane Katrina.
“We wanted to make this business a way to make a difference in our community and our industry,” he said. His vision for the company includes putting an office in every major oil market in the world, he said.
Pelican will begin hiring for the new positions immediately, according to a news release.
Bogle cited three key incentives for keeping the company in Louisiana. First, he said, the local workforce is “resilient,” as he said he saw firsthand after Katrina. “They are overcomers,” he said. He also praised Jindal and state officials for creating a competitive business climate that made it financially viable for the company to expand in Louisiana.
Finally, he praised the quality of life in the state and especially St. Tammany Parish, calling it a “family-friendly atmosphere” and saying he expects the state to become a “cultural epicenter” for the entire South.
According to the news release, Louisiana Economic Development estimates that the 195 new jobs at Pelican will result in an additional 280 indirect jobs in southeast Louisiana.
To help Pelican expand, the state offered the firm workforce-development incentives, including LED FastStart and the Louisiana Quality Jobs Program, according to the release.
Pelican adds to the growing oil and gas industry presence on the north shore. Oil giant Chevron is expanding by 10 acres its NorthPark location near Covington, and LOOP, a company that distributes crude oil to refineries across the country, is also headquartered at NorthPark.