Heard at Winter NAPE 2013

Winter NAPE was February 6-8 and we spent our time listening to the pros discussing their views on energy policy, fundamentals, and investments. It's a North American event with some international influence. See photos below. A few highlights from the business conference include:

  • At one point in 2012, there were 12-13 federal agencies overseeing some point of the E&P business
  • Alaska is working to create incentives to fuel future exploration. (Only 500 exploration wells have ever been drilled in Alaska. More than 250,000 have been drilled in Texas)
  • Alaska is working to ensure the federal government can't block development the state is in favor of
  • Most of those that oppose "Fracking" oppose oil & gas development in general
  • The industry moving to address all stakeholders. (Not just mineral owners and shareholders)
  • Asia and the US are set to lead global growth in 2013
  • Payroll tax hike will reduce growth, but we should still grow
  • Chemical facilities are expanding for the first time in 50 years ($95 billion in investment planned)
  • Problems in the US are artificial (man made)
  • Brent is expected to trend into the low $80s, with WTI differentials shrinking
  • A Whiting executive believes the Bakken-Three Forks could hold 25-50 billion barrels of recoverable oil
  • Anadarko is 500 wells into the Eagle Ford and still sees upside (targeting a 4.2 day drilling time)
  • Schlumberger shared a study showing 30% of perf clusters don't contribute to production

In previous years, the floor of NAPE has had a general theme. One year it would be the Barnett, the next the Haynesville, then the Bakken. This year there wasn't a single area that seemed to dominate the booths. There were small deals across almost all of the shale plays. I saw several Bakken and Eagle Ford deals, as well as conventional projects around the country. From speaking with the attendees, it sounds like conventional drilling has become unconventional in today's market. The largest operators are investing in big, repeatable shale plays.

The North American Prospects Expo (NAPE) is one of the largest oil and gas gatherings in the wold. E&P companies from across the world come to Houston to showcase the next big oil deal.