Black gold, green Gulf

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John Hoffman, MinE’80

In 2007, two years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and three years before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, John Hoffmanstarted Black Elk Energy, an oil company that strives to be eco-friendly.

Prior to starting Black Elk, Hoffman worked for Amoco Production Co. and other energy companies. “Black Elk stringently assesses technical information to protect against potential risks as part of our acquisition strategy,” Hoffman recently told Rigzone, an industry news organization. “Our approach extends the economic life of fields and delivers a greater volume of reserves to the U.S. energy market. … We have some world-class tools in place to alert us if we are out of compliance and are always looking for new and improved ways to keep the Gulf safe.”

Hoffman, MinE’80, has also started “Save the Blue,” an initiative to protect and preserve ecosystems in the Gulf. As part of this initiative, he has met with members of Congress to discuss bills that would protect the reef ecosystems that form on offshore oil and gas platforms. “It’s been documented that each platform has 10,000 to 30,000 fish and mammals that use the ecosystem as a habitat,” says Hoffman, who is an avid scuba diver. “Is it right that we should destroy these ecosystems?

“I would say that the Gulf of Mexico is one of the few places on earth where the health of the environment is so obviously linked to the community and economy.”

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