MMS to stay in New Orleans

Houston has been the beneficiary of much of the energy industry’s consolidation in recent years, as merged companies choose time and again to base their headquarters here in the U.S. energy capital. And Hurricane Katrina led a number of companies to move from New Orleans to Houston. But the federal government won’t follow that route:
The Minerals Management Service (through the General Services Administration) said today it has signed a 15-year lease to keep the MMS Gulf of Mexico Regional Office in the New Orleans area.

“This office is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of energy development in the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This lease extension demonstrates our commitment to our employees in the New Orleans area and once again underscores the importance of the Gulf of Mexico to the energy security and reliability to our Nation,” said the agency’s director Randall Luthi.

The MMS building, which houses more than 600 employees and contractors, sustained extensive damage during Hurricane Katrina. The new lease will include additional upgrades to the building.