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McDermott to close its Morgan City operations

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 10:34 AM

HOUMA (AP) — McDermott International says it will close its Morgan City fabrication facility and marine base in Amelia in coming months, and its operations will be moved to Altamira, Mexico.

The Courier reported the Houston-based energy services and engineering firm estimated 350 workers will be let go when the yard is shuttered either late this year or early next.

"After many months of consideration, we have made these decisions, which are driven by the evolving market demands of the offshore engineering and construction industry in the Gulf of Mexico," said Stephen M. Johnson, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.

The company cited its customers' increasing focus on deepwater pursuits. Serving those customers requires facilities exceeding the size and scope of the Morgan City facility, Johnson said.

The announcement cites the yard's lack of deepwater access, which is where much of the activity in the Gulf of Mexico has been focused, a trend that is expected to continue for years.

Reports that the company was considering closing its Morgan City operations have swirled for at least two years, resurfacing earlier this summer as a decision neared on whether it would renew the lease for the oilfield fabrication yard's property.

The restructuring is a part of a greater reconsolidation, officials said.

"We are hopeful and confident that our highly trained, skilled and experienced employees affected by today's announcement will find opportunities elsewhere in the marketplace," Johnson said, noting the company will provide assistance to those employees.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said his administration has worked with local and corporate officials of McDermott for the past two years in an attempt to find a way to keep the facilities open.

"Unfortunately, the water depth there has made it very difficult for the company to compete for heavy deepwater projects, Jindal said.

McDermott International announced in July it will close its last remaining New Orleans office in October.

Following other local oil and gas companies, McDermott moved its corporate headquarters from New Orleans to Houston in 2005.

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