Summer NAPE Driving Oil, Gas Deal Pace

Jim Manatt Jr., CEO of Thrust Energy, began his speech to 150 or so of his “most pathologically optimistic friends” at the Summer Nape event this week with the words of one of his favorite philosophers: Will Rogers.

“Why not go out on a limb?” he asked. “That’s where the fruit is!”

Manatt was addressing the group with the message that despite the downturn, prosperity can still be found in the oilfield.

Although the bottom of oil prices could end up in the high $30s, he said, “A lot of this dynamic is artificial. This is the Saudis overproducing to, as one of their family members said, ‘to teach American producers a lesson.’”

Manatt isn’t the only one feeling optimistic about the industry’s prospects. NAPE organizers said the pace of registration for this year’s event was on pace with 2014, expecting to draw almost 5,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors.

“NAPE is beneficial in up, as well as down, markets because its builds attendees’ businesses,” said Jeanine Haller Piskurich, chair of the NAPE operators committee, in a statement. “The American Association of Landmen founded NAPE in a down market to boost U.S. exploration and production by better connecting prospects and investors, and we’re proud to see that premise hold true more than two decades later.”

Summer NAPE is taking place Aug. 19 through Aug. 20 at the George R. Brown Center in Houston.

An award-winning journalist, Deon has reported on energy, business and politics for almost 20 years. Email Deon at


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