Back to the basics – innovatively
NAPE Forum to Look Beyond Shale
When they said something new and innovative would be included in the forum at this year’s Summer NAPE confab in Houston, they weren’t kidding.
“Maximizing North American E&P Opportunities Through Innovation” is the theme for this year’s forum, set Aug. 26, the day prior to the two-day prospect exhibition.
The day-long event, sponsored by IHS Energy and IPAA in conjunction with NAPE, will be chaired by IHS’ Bob Fryklund and Pete Stark, both AAPG members.
Fryklund outlined the three panel sessions included on the schedule:
- U.S. regional highlights – including the Appalachians, Rocky Mountains and the Mid-Continent regions.
- Southern United States – encompassing the Gulf Coast and offshore.
- Technology innovations – to include production enhancement, geochemistry applications, reservoir characterization and its relationship to completions.
In keeping with the custom of the NAPE forums, a session featuring prospect promotion presentations will close the day’s activities.
“Among our goals is to highlight there is potential in North America still – and where the opportunities are,” Fryklund said.
“We want to show that many projects are moving forward because of the combination of innovation and technology, and we want the audience to get it from the bottom up – from the operators’ experiences.
“We hope to highlight some places where people are not currently working.”
Technology and Innovation
Expect some meaningful discussion regarding the possibility of tools for technology and innovation that perhaps have escaped notice, as well as those gizmos that are well known but have been languishing on a back shelf for some time.
Fryklund noted that with a little tweaking, some tools from the past could have a purpose in today’s activity.
For an example, he cited an old tool that had been used for measuring water saturation that went in the closet for awhile and has now re-emerged for application in heavy oil areas for the most part.
Unconventional resource plays are the hot story in North America today, but the forum will emphasize that unconventional is not the only game in town. The Gulf of Mexico shelf, for instance, is still a very active area despite the thinking among some industry folks that this region is so yesterday.
“We hope to get that message out that this is still a vibrant region,” Fryklund said.
Another message you’ll hear is that the resource plays can be market changers.
“Before the Barnett, for example, Dallas was a net importer of natural gas,” Fryklund said. “After the Barnett, it became a net exporter, and all the gas not needed had to be re-routed so it makes for a new market change as far as pipelines, infrastructure and the like.
“Another thing we’ll highlight is some of the challenges to executing that are coming up,” Fryklund said. “This is not especially new but it’s elevating – such as the Rockies, where we’re starting to see more discussion on the trade off of environment versus energy. We’ll highlight issues and (places) where some are more elevated than others.”
It’s also planned that the forum will include a look at the thorny issue of capacity – in terms of people as well as goods and services – and how it impacts the action from a deliverability standpoint.
“We have abundant resources,” Fryklund said. “It’s a matter of figuring how to deliver them to the right markets.
“There ARE a lot of impediments to that delivery, including access and infrastructure.”
It is noteworthy that a part of the forum will home in on the fact that the rocks once again are extremely important.
“Back to the basics is the big thing that everyone’s starting to do,” Fryklund said, “and that’s pushing things to a new level as far as data goes. Each piece of data may unlock something new – especially in a lot of these old places where people took a sort of cursory look at things in the past and now are taking a detailed look.”
The sponsors of the forum are optimistic that these annual events will:
- Encourage some participants to venture out in a new direction for a new play.
- Assist them to be more efficient working in a current play.
The forum’s big tie-in to the main NAPE event, i.e., the two-day prospect expo, is that it can serve as a platform for people who are going to spend the following two days wheelin’ ‘n’ dealin’ as they peruse the varied prospect/investment opportunities on display.
“It can give them a framework for their regions and prospects and to tie these things in,” Fryklund said.
“When folks don’t have the regional capabilities in-house and they go down and look at prospects and plays, they’ll have a better regional context by attending the forum.”