Prospects, A&D Highlight APPEX Global Conference

Contributors: Ciaran Larkin

AAPG Europe’s annual APPEX Global conference returned to the Business Design Centre in London in March, attracting more than 700 attendees representing independent oil and gas producers, major corporations and national oil companies.

The program featured a series of presentations on A&D developments in Europe, Asia, South America, Australasia and the Middle East, all coupled with a bustling exhibition showcasing the latest E&P prospects from around the world.

APPEX Global was conceived as a forum to expose underexplored parts of the world to the industry. For buyers, this annual event has firmly established itself as an ideal place to reach out and explore new E&P opportunities. For sellers, there is no better place to showcase new prospects.

APPEX Global Highlights

Some of the meeting highlights included:

AAPG member Peter Burri, of the Swiss Association of Energy Geoscientists in Basel, Switzerland, spoke about criteria for assessing the potential of shale gas prospects, highlighting the strict regulatory environment and public pressure against the exploration in some states.

Like all business decisions, A&D involves an assessment of risks and benefits. Paul Mason of Total spoke about the business drivers for A&D from a corporate perspective, listing factors for consideration such as the risk/reward gap, internal resources and how a prospect might fit into a portfolio.

It’s no secret that oil production is declining in certain parts of the North Sea. So what does the future hold for exploration in the region? Tom Dreyer of Statoil expressed the importance of cross-border collaboration, the need for a willingness to risk testing new plays and the importance of technology-driven exploration.

When it comes to A&D, Russia is often viewed as a difficult entry point, particularly for independents. This issue was addressed by AAPG member Konstantin Sobornov of the North Uralian Petroleum Company in his presentation on Russian oil industry trends, including a perspective on how social and economic barriers could be overcome.

Julian Lee of the Centre for Global Energy Studies expanded on this in his presentation on geopolitics of oil markets in the Former Soviet Union.

Energy security challenges are an important consideration when making the decision to commit to an A&D project. Angus Miller, a senior adviser to the Foreign Office in the U.K., spoke about this topic in relation to the Caspian Sea and Central Asian States, referring to the delicate geopolitics in the region and explaining the implications of increased interest in prospects from China and Eastern Asia.

There is an abundance of exciting E&P opportunities in Africa, and Charles Gurdon of Menas Associates spoke about growing success of new basins in east and west Africa. Countries with E&P prospects up for grabs included Namibia, Kenya, Chad and South Africa.

At this year’s APPEX Finance Forum participants received an update on the state of oil and gas funding five years on from the global financial crisis and insights into criteria for funding exploration.

Up next: AAPG Europe is holding APPEX Regional 2013 in Istanbul Nov. 5-6. For more information go to europe.aapg.org.

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Regions and Sections

Regions and Sections Column - Carol McGowen
Carol Cain McGowen is the development manager for AAPG's Regions and Sections. She may be contacted via email , or telephone at 1-918-560-9403.

Regions and Sections is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news for and about AAPG's six international Regions and six U.S. Sections. News items, press releases and other information should be submitted via email or to: EXPLORER - Regions and Sections, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101. 

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Ciaran Larkin is a conference producer for AAPG’s London office.