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PetroQuest sells Eagle Ford assets

Lafayette-based PetroQuest Energy Inc. said Tuesday it netted $9.7 million from the just-completed sale of its Eagle Ford assets. PetroQuest’s leases in the Texas formation produced the equivalent of 195 barrels of oil per day. PetroQuest is and exploration-and-production company with reserves in Texas, Louisiana and the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.… Continue reading →

Bagasse popular feedstock in biofuel

Bagasse, the waste from sugar cane, was the second-most popular biopower feedstock through mid-year, according to Global Energy World, which tracks trends in the industry. Close to 26 percent of biopower feedstock came from bagasse. Those results were driven by sugar cane’s status as a major crop in three of the world’s largest biopower markets: India, Brazil… Continue reading →

Feds approve East Coast LNG export terminal

The federal government has given Dominion Cove Point LNG permission to export liquefied natural gas, the first time an East Coast facility has been awarded an export permit. The project in Calvert County, Md., will cost $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion and is expected to be in operations in early 2017. Dominion Cove’s permit allows the facility… Continue reading →

Lamar Advertising shareholders voting on REIT in November

Lamar Advertising Co. shareholders will vote in mid-November on whether the outdoor advertising giant will convert to a Real Estate Investment Trust. Lamar’s board of directors has already approved a plan to reorganize the company’s business operations to qualify as a REIT for 2014. The trusts don’t pay corporate income tax on profits as long as 90… Continue reading →

Huntsman starts engineering work for Geismar expansion

Huntsman Corp. has begun preliminary engineering work that will increase the MDI production capacity of its Geismar complex by about 80 percent. The company will increase the facility’s production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate by 440,000 tons. Huntsman said expanding at Geismar will allow the company to capitalize on significant advantages, including access to U.S. shale gas… Continue reading →

Banks based in Raceland, Gonzales merging

The parent companies of Community Bank in Raceland and United Community Bank in Gonzales, which share the same majority ownership, plan to merge. Under the agreement, United Community Bancshares Inc. is being merged into Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc., officials said Monday. The combined holding company will operate under the name Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc. and… Continue reading →

Candlewood Suites plans BR hotel

Plans for an 81-room Candlewood Suites hotel have been filed with the city-parish Public Works Inspection division. The hotel would be located at 5353 Bankers Ave., near the intersection of College Drive and Corporate Boulevard. According to officials with Baton Rouge-based MAPP Construction, which will build the hotel, the Candlewood Suites will cost about $6.5 million to… Continue reading →

Online dental booking service readies for growth

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Dr. Robert Delarosa uses LocalMed, a Baton Rouge company that allows patients to book dental appointments with their smartphones. Delarosa is one of two dozen Baton Rouge-area dentists who subscribe to the service. For now, patients can also make appointments with seven dentists in New Orleans and five in Lafayette, as well as in other cities throughout the state.

For the past 18 years, Christine Watson has followed the same routine when it came time to make a dental appointment for her kids. She checked their schedules. She checked her calendar. Then she called Dr. Robert Delarosa’s office, hoping one of his openings matched the times that worked best for her family. If everybody’s schedule didn’t mesh,… Continue reading →

Geocent growing its business to the next level

Photo provided by Geocent LLC -- Employees Joe Berry, left, Anita Canafax, Brittanie Wright, standing, Mandi Nicholas and Mayra Cabrera participate in a meeting at Geocent LLC, which provides information technology and engineering services from offices in Metairie, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and four out-of-state locations.

Growing a new technology company into a $30 million contracting business is no small feat. Even though Metairie-based Geocent LLC reached that mark in just six years, its owners have their sights set much higher and think the company now is poised to push toward its “real” revenue goal — $125 million.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Sept. 28, 2014

Registration has begun for the fifth annual Social Innovation Summit being held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Cook Hotel & Conference Center at LSU, 3838 W. Lakeshore Drive, in Baton Rouge. The free event, hosted by nonprofit MetroMorphosis, is designed for… Continue reading →

People in Business for Sept. 28, 2014

Michael Becker, Firefighters

Michael Becker has been named chief investment officer of the Firefighters’ Retirement System. He was a consultant in the valuation and transaction advisory services group at Postlethwaite & Netterville.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Sept. 28, 2014

Ellen Burke, of Neel-Schaffer Inc.

Ellen Burke and Santosh Andem, both of Neel-Schaffer Inc., have been certified as professional traffic operations engineers. Burke is in the firm’s Baton Rouge office, and Andem is in its Lafayette office. Certification is based on experience and passing an exam. Cindy Heine, president of Associated Benefits… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims dip in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Sept. 20 edged down to 2,068 from the previous week’s total of 2,071. The state labor department figures released Friday show claims for the comparable week a year earlier totaled 2,494. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to… Continue reading →

Louisiana plant recalls frozen chicken breast strips

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Foster Farms is recalling 39,747 pounds of frozen, pre-cooked chicken produced at a north Louisiana plant due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips product was produced on Aug. 5, and then shipped from the company’s plant in Farmerville to retail warehouse… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge adds 12,900 jobs over 12-month period

The number of nonfarm jobs in the Baton Rouge metro area increased by 12,900, or nearly 3.4 percent, for the 12-month period ending in August, making the Capital Region the second-fastest growing area in the state. There were 396,600 nonfarm jobs in the Baton Rouge metro area in August, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the… Continue reading →

Watchdog group calls for reform of shell companies

An economic watchdog group is calling for state and federal governments halt the practice of allowing “shell companies” to be created by anonymous owners. “Lax U.S. laws enable criminals and hucksters to hide behind American companies to rip us all off,” said Stefanie Ostfeld, Global Witness Deputy Head of U.S. Office and Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency… Continue reading →

Obamacare slashes uninsured rate among Latinos

The uninsured rate among Latinos was reduced by nearly half following the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, according to a new Commonwealth Fund brief. Among young Latinos, those 19 to 34, the uninsured rate dropped from 43 percent from July to September 2013 to 23 percent in April-June 2014, the report says. Among… Continue reading →

Jimmy John’s shops in Louisiana avoid credit card data theft

Louisiana customers of the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain appear to have escaped a theft of credit card data believed stolen from 216 of the company’s shops in 37 states between June and September. The Champaign, Illinois-based chain did not say how many customers are affected. Jimmy John’s said it believes its security has been restored by installing… Continue reading →

Research grants target prevalent diseases in Louisiana

Researchers from institutions in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport will be using grants to study cervical cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorder. The Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center, a federally funded statewide research initiative, announced three multi-institutional grants on Wednesday. “These projects are aimed at diseases prevalent in our communities,” said Dr. William… Continue reading →

Our Lady of the Lake implementing flu vaccination policy

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center said Wednesday it is implementing a flu vaccination policy at the hospital to help protect the health of its patients, visitors, staff and community. The policy — affecting more than 7,000 people — includes physicians, allied health staff, volunteers, students, contract workers and other health care providers,… Continue reading →

Health costs for young adults accelerated after 2010

Health care spending for young adults whose coverage is provided through employers grew at more than twice the rate of other adults during 2011, the first year that parents were allowed to include adult children in family health plans, according to a study by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute. The report found that per capita health… Continue reading →

EnLink completes Plaquemine gas processing expansion

The EnLink Midstream companies have completed a natural-gas liquids project that includes a 100,000-barrel-per-day fractionator next to the companies’ Plaquemine natural gas processing plant. The natural gas processing expansion is part of the just-completed second phase of the Cajun-Sibon natural gas liquids project. The project also included adding 50,000 barrels per day of capacity to the Cajun-Sibon… Continue reading →

Land purchased for future Chabill’s site

A 1.12-acre parcel of land on Burbank Drive near Bluebonnet Boulevard has been sold for $823,480 to a Morgan City developer who plans to build a Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service on the site. Charles L. Gowland Sr. Family LLC bought the land in a deal that was completed Tuesday, said Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert… Continue reading →

Report: Hospitals have $30 billion economic impact

Louisiana hospitals employ more than 98,000 people and generate more than $29.9 billion in economic activity, according to a new report the Louisiana Hospital Association released Tuesday. “Hospitals and the Louisiana Economy, 2014” also shows hospitals: Paid employees more than $4.6 billion. Spent an average of $870 million on construction projects… Continue reading →

Cox doubling Internet speeds without price increase

Cox Communications will double the speeds of its most popular Internet service packages in New Orleans Tuesday and in Baton Rouge and Acadiana Wednesday. The company said the higher speeds will be implemented without increasing customers’ bills. Cox High Speed Internet Preferred will increase from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second. Cox High… Continue reading →

CF Industries, Yara in talks on possible merger

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Cranes dot the landscape at CF Industries' expansion at its Donaldsonville area plant, seen from La. 70/3089 in July. CF industries is in talks with Yara International about a possible merger of the two companies.

CF Industries, which operates the nation’s largest nitrogen complex in Donaldsonville, is in preliminary talks with Norway’s Yara International about a possible merger that would create a mammoth player in the fertilizer industry. The deal could lock in cheap U.S. energy prices for Yara, and open up global markets to CF Industries. The combined… Continue reading →

Louisiana ranks low in happiness

Louisiana was the 39th happiest state, or the 11th least happy, in the country, according to a report that looked at 26 key measures including emotional health, income levels and sports participation. WalletHub’s 2014 Most & Least Happy States in America found that Louisiana tied for 50th in a measurement of making online personal expressions of happiness.… Continue reading →

Downtown Baton Rouge building sold for $2.2 million

Commercial Properties Realty Trust has purchased an office building at 500 Main St. for $2.2 million. The for-profit real estate arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation bought the 14,000-square-foot building, in a deal filed Friday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The building is the home of the local offices of Stantec Consulting… Continue reading →

Louisiana to benefit from conservation program grants

National grants totaling $1.04 million have been awarded to three organizations to help implement conservation projects in multistate areas that include Louisiana, and nearly $150,000 in state grants were awarded. The national grants were among $15.7 million in Conservation Innovation Grants to 47 organizations made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.… Continue reading →

Plaquemine shopping center purchased

A Cleveland-based investment trust has purchased the Belleview Shopping Center in Plaquemine for nearly $4 million. The Carnegie Companies, which owns more than 40 properties across the U.S., including shopping centers, apartment complexes, parking garages and warehouses, bought the center in a deal that closed earlier this month, said Carmen Austin, an associate broker with Saurage Rotenberg… Continue reading →

Belle Chasse wine importer has global reach

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER- Sampling the merchandise is all part of the job for Matt Lirette, owner of Lirette Selections, a local wine distributor located in Belle Chasse.

A small warehouse and office building tucked away in a modest Belle Chasse industrial park may seem like the farthest place from the sun-kissed hills that produce the Brunellos and Rossos from Italy’s Tuscany region or the gently sloping valley in the south of France that births Château Miraval’s Rosé. But each year, Lirette Selections imports… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Sept. 21, 2014

Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge is seeking nominations for the 2014 Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards. Nominations must be submitted before 5 p.m. Oct. 3. An awards banquet will be held Nov. 20 at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge at… Continue reading →

People in Business for Sept. 21, 2014

Angela Wales, IberiaBank

Angela Bennett Wales has been named vice president and business banking relationship manager for IberiaBank’s Denham Springs location. Wales was assistant vice president and branch manager for Investar Bank and Capital One in the Baton Rouge market.… Continue reading →