NAPE Summit 2019 - As Busy As Ever!
I have been attending NAPE (North American Prospects Expo) Summit for many years and it is always madly busy, even though the number of attendees dropped during the downturn. With the number of attendees up again, at over 12,360 oil and gas professionals and 700 exhibiting companies, this year was no different! The event, held 11-15 February at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, was a great opportunity for meeting and reconnecting with past, present and potential partners, all eager to talk about the latest trends and ‘hot spots’ in the North American oil and gas industry.
NAPE Summit is celebrating over 25 years of bringing together deal-makers from all around the world to connect, reconnect and make deals happen, with four different networking events and five education seminars during the week.
Courses, Conference and Exhibition
The first full day was devoted to a series of educational courses, workshops and seminars, hosted by the NAPE organisations: American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN). This was followed by the Global Business Conference on Wednesday 12 February, where sessions were dedicated to the business and finance aspects of the industry, taking a look at where the US E&P industry is heading. Among the ‘usual suspects’ topics, such as raising capital and supply and demand conundrums, there was also an interesting presentation which discussed how politics, social media and activism are affecting the industry in a totally new way.
On Wednesday afternoon there was also the Job Fair, where employers seeking to hire qualified and experienced candidates could connected with eager job seekers, and by all reports it proved very successful. It struck me as a good omen for the future of the industry to see so much active hiring going on.
After the traditional Icebreaker session, also on Wednesday afternoon, the Exhibition itself opened on Thursday 14 February. About 70% of the exhibitors work in the exploration and development field. It only runs for one and a half days, but the aisles were always buzzing. I spoke with one person who was exhibiting for the first time and she said she was amazed by how many organisations and different groups there were on the exhibition floor. I felt the atmosphere in general was optimistic and this year’s show was definitely bigger than last year.
New to the event this year was Connections and Conversations, an exclusive event designed to bring specific groups of people within the energy industry together to network, engage and form professional relationships. This year’s group was Women in Energy, and the event featured a moderated discussion between several influential women in the industry.
I did not manage to attend the Charities Luncheon on Thursday, which was a shame, as I would have been interested to hear the special guest speakers President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush had to say. The event supported four deserving veterans’ charities with donations totalling a very generous $325,000.
NAPE Summit - Where Deals Happen
But what NAPE is famous for is deals, and the Prospect Forum always offers the opportunity to check out what is available and make to contacts to follow what grabs your attention. The majority of the Prospect Previews offered were in North America but there was also an International arm to the Prospect Forum, showcased separately in the international prospect preview theatre.
When there is so much decision-making power on one show floor, deals happen.