NAPE: The Conference for Oil and Gas Dealmakers

NAPE: The Conference for Oil and Gas Dealmakers

What does NAPE Stand for?

NAPE stands for the North American Prospect Expo., it is held twice a year in Houston, Texas.

The larger of the two conferences is the NAPE Summit which is held in February. The smaller of the two conferences (due primarily to the fact that the oil and gas industry likes to take the summer off) is the Summer NAPE Expo. and takes place in August.

NAPE is one of the largest face-to-face marketplaces for buying and selling oil and gas lease agreements. This event brings together leaseholders, operators and financiers in one place, to make deals happen.

Few other trade shows or conferences on earth have such a dedicated focus on facilitating the buying, selling and exchanging of oil and gas lease properties. But where there is opportunity there is risk, so you need to make sure you’ve done your homework before jumping in with both feet.


Who Should Attend the NAPE Expo.?


Oil and Gas Operators

If you’re an oil and gas operator, then you’re in the business of getting oil and/or gas out of the ground as economically as possible. The first step in that process is acquiring a lease that allows you to drill and extract petroleum products from a formation.

To clarify, buying a lease is not the first step in the process. All of the support work before a company buys a lease or part of a well or field notwithstanding, there is the enormously important investigative process that includes a minimum amount of due diligence.

The NAPE Expo. exposes operators to hundreds of sellers with thousands of properties. Attendees get to sit in on leaseholder presentations and peek behind the curtain on properties that may be relevant to their portfolios.

Not only are operators able to meet with any number of sellers, they have the chance to network with private equity investors looking for operators and projects that can help turn their capital investment into a successful oil and gas play.

Another benefit for the oil and gas operator is the chance to meet with a variety of service companies who can assist with the future development of the newly acquired asset.



For the leaseholder/seller, simply attending the conference won’t guarantee success.

With the oil and gas industry still working its way out of a downturn, we are living in a buyer’s market. If you plan on attending NAPE, you better have your proverbial ducks in a row.

Fortunately, NAPE works very hard to help leaseholders be successful at their conference; what would the largest oil and gas lease marketplace be if no one bought or sold a property?

NAPE provides a Prospect/Lease Exchange Theater, which allows leaseholders to present lease offerings to any conference attendees interested in certain fields.

In addition to the Prospect/Lease Exchange Theater, NAPE provides a Deal-Making Lease Exchange Center, where attendees can hash out the detail of a prospect’s offer and agree on a sale.


Oil and gas project backers

If the first rule of investing is “Don’t lose money,” then the first step required to invest in an oil and gas project is understanding the opportunity. What field is being developed? Is the project in an established oil and gas basin or is it a wildcat well? Is the project focused on primary recover or secondary recovery and what secondary recovery method will be used? 

Understanding the technical information related to the exploration and production (E&P) project is vital to ensuring you get a return on your investment, keeping in mind that it is possible to drill a dry hole so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket no matter how good the seismic interpretation and reservoir models look on paper.

NAPE is the place where the leaseholders and operators come together looking to make deals. At the NAPE Expo., are a lot of projects that need investors to get started, but you need to focus on the ones that are going to make you money and lead you into your next oil and gas investment. 

Far too many leaseholders preparing to sell low-probability assets bring in a third-party geology consulting firm and find out that a moderate financial expenditure on simple artificial lift techniques could add millions of BOE or extend the decline curve.

On the other side of the table, there have been many small operators who have lost their shirts trying to save money on the front end by forgoing simple due diligence.


Oil and gas service companies

NAPE could be your time to shine. If your product or service can add book value in any way to operators, leaseholders or financiers, it is your obligation to make them aware of your company.

True service companies are not the primary focus of most NAPE attendees, but if the value you could potentially bring to the table for any oilfield project outweighs the cost of your services, the NAPE conference is a target-rich environment. 


How to be successful at NAPE

As with any conference, just showing up isn’t enough; you have to stand out from the crowd. You can’t expect success at NAPE if you don’t plan for success. Do your homework and come prepared.

If you’re presenting, make sure your presentation highlights your value proposition. Make sure your audience sees why they would be foolish to not at least follow-up with you back at your booth.

If you’re not presenting, how does your booth stand out from those immediately to your left or right? From the hundreds of other booths in the exhibition hall?

Make sure you do your prep work:

  • Before you walk through those doors, have you identified high-value prospects to meet?
  • Have you set any meetings with out-of-town prospects with enough time for them to commit to meeting with you?
  • Did you build any anticipation around your company attending the conference?
  • Are your materials (presentations, printouts, support data) squared away?

Attendance at conferences and trade shows is slowly shrinking. NAPE is one of the exceptions to this reality, primarily because of the immense value of being able to sign up for a booth and walk away with one or more contracts. Few other events have the type of success rate found at NAPE. 


What not to do at the NAPE Expo.

Don’t go to NAPE unprepared! Have a short list of goals, target prospects and the ability to make a deal on the spot (provided you’ve done your due diligence).

If you find yourself sitting at your booth working on your inbox or focused on a conversation with someone you work with on a daily basis, you’re likely missing out on the prospects right in front of you.

If the foot traffic around your booth is light, and you have coverage, go for a walk. Sit in on presentations, have coffee and start up a conversation with a stranger. The majority of NAPE attendees are looking for opportunities to make a deal, ask questions and look for opportunities.

And don’t forget to do your homework before you sign the paperwork for your next project.


How to follow-up after the NAPE Expo.

At the bare minimum, all contacts should be in some form of customer relationship management system (CRM). Even for one-man sales teams, this is a good practice. Apart from just capturing leads, you should have some reason to reach back out to prospects.

The notes you took after the interaction with your prospect should give you a good kickoff point, and make sure you send them something of value (e.g., an industry-related article).