With a focus on the energy-rich Rockies region from New Mexico to Canada, the inaugural NAPE Rockies kicked off in Denver, CO on Wednesday, December 11, with a one-day business conference offering attendees a look at the current operating environment in the region. Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver, and Tisha C. Schuller, president, Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), kicked off the event by welcoming attendees.
Since the surge in North American production from shale and tight oil took off in 2008, US oil production has increased by 1.5 million barrels per day — the highest growth in oil output for any country in the world in the same time period. And the growth is expected to continue.
The implications for the petroleum industry and the US economy are tremendous, said Marty Schardt, executive vice president of the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), the managing partner of NAPE. “These are exciting times to be a part of the oil and gas industry with unconventional shale continuing to transform the energy landscape of America."
“Over the last 80-plus years, Denver has established itself as a key player in the energy industry, especially as the shale boom has hit our region,” Mayor Hancock said. “With more than 2,500 people on their way to Denver for NAPE Rockies, we are excited about the economic opportunity and growth that we can create in partnership with NAPE. We welcome NAPE Rockies to the Mile High City,” he concluded.
“As the center of the energy rich Rockies region, Denver was the perfect choice for NAPE Rockies,” Schardt noted.
The business conference opened with a panel discussion on the current operating environment in the region. The panel, a mix of operators, service companies, and financial professionals, discussed new areas of opportunities, how the region's plays are offering returns to investors, drilling best-practices, production enhancement developments, drilling efficiencies and the minimization of environmental impact, service and supply costs, production and infrastructure bottlenecks, political and community challenges. Speakers included Ted Brown, senior vice president, Northern Region for Noble Energy Inc.; Bob Laing, area director – Rockies at Baker Hughes; Geoff Solich, managing director, SFC Energy Partners; and Matt Thompson, vice president, Northern Division at QEP Resources Inc.
Luncheon Keynote Speaker James J. Volker, CEO and chairman of Whiting Petroleum Corp. started his presentation with an overview of how technology has impacted America’s energy future. From rather simple multi-stage pressure pumping to elaborate hydraulic fracturing designs, well completion evolution has delivered riveting results in domestic oil and natural gas reserves increases. Development of US hydrocarbon-bearing shales has transformed America's energy future from one of dependence to world leadership.
The final panel of the day focused on the unsettled political and regulatory environment in the Intermountain West as it relates to the industry. Experts discussed topics impacting the oil and natural gas industry ranging from the impact of adverse tax and legislative policy to harmful regulations that would reduce access to federal lands for producers. Speakers included Simon Lomax, Mountain States Field Director for Energy In Depth (EID); Dale Nijoka, Global Oil and Gas Leader at Ernst and Young; and Brad Miller, general manger - Regulatory Affairs for Anadarko Petroleum Corp.