With Q2 in the rearview mirror, presenters in the first few days of Enercom’s The Oil & Gas Conference® 20 were smiling and even optimistic about the future prospects for their companies. Completion formulas and directional drilling successes were discussed at length, as were balance sheets, liquidity, redeterminations, type curves, record well economics, reservoir analysis, CapEx allocation for the balance of 2015, and continued strong operating cost reductions.
On Wednesday morning, outside the presentation and breakout rooms, a large screen displayed a live CNBC feed with graphics announcing “WTI Hits Lowest Point in 6 ½ years.” In a room full of oil and gas CEOs, CFOs, COOs, energy analysts, portfolio managers and bankers, the headline seemed more like an old wallpaper pattern, something so familiar that you have gotten used to living with it.
Meantime company presentations were delivered, hundreds of one-on-one meetings were conducted and lunch speakers gave detailed talks about key energy issues. Cheniere Energy’s (ticker: LNG) CEO Charif Souki talked about Cheniere’s first-to-market LNG business and the scale of the LNG opportunity, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper talked about his strong support for proposed west coast LNG export facilities to move Colorado’s gas to non free trade agreement countries, and Ambassador Chris Hill discussed how key Middle Eastern countries are likely to affect the flow of oil going forward. Hickenlooper, who said he is the only governor who has ever started as a geologist, discussed the need to “find ways to get the resource out of the ground cleaner and more efficiently.”
The governor didn’t elaborate on how the shale developers like Range Resources (ticker: RRC), Cimarex Energy (ticker: XEC), PDC Energy (ticker: PDCE) and virtually every other E&P and oil service provider in the building have spent the past 6 months delivering increased efficiency at extracting more hydrocarbons at lower cost. Other presenters included innovative service and technology companies like Integrated Environmental Technologies (ticker: IEVM) that is coming at cost cutting by eliminating H2S from the equation.
Meanwhile deals were being discussed, a lot of acreage positions were looking to grow and companies have obviously learned how to keep things rolling forward, albeit at a slower pace than the past few years’ $90-$100+ WTI spurred.
The next period of accelerated development of North America’s vast reserves will be in a holding pattern till a commodities price recovery is in force. WTI closed north of $40 per barrel on Wednesday.
The EnerCom conference wraps on Thursday with presentations by many experts including James Constas, Jeb Armstrong, Will Fleckenstein, Ricardo Garcia-Moreno and Tom Petrie.