Click here to learn more about NAPE. If you want to do business in Oil & Gas, get a job or just learn more, this is the place for you. A great interview with past AAPL President Roger Soape.

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something more about the oil and gas industry.

We’re sitting here today with Roger Soape. Good afternoon, Roger.

Roger: Hello, there. How are you?

Mark: I’m doing very well. And, Roger is the past president of AAPL and he’s also involved in NAPE. And, you and I before I turn the camera on have an interesting discussion about when NAPE got started in the 90’s and you were part of that. That’s a fascinating time. Let’s talk about that a little bit.

Roger: Well, I was a part of a big team. AAPL had a group they call their issues management council. And it was a bunch of – a bunch of landmen who got together periodically and it was just kind of think tank brainstorm deal.

The group came up with the concept of trying to do something to stimulate activity. We had people with money over here, we had people with geologic prospects over here, we had the landmen who were – who were sort of the business side over here and we didn’t – we didn’t cross-pollinate very well. And, trying to look in a low oil environment — low activity environment if there was anything we could do to help.

And, some people in that issues management group that were far, far smarter than I am and far wiser came up with this idea. And, I don’t remember exactly how much money AAPL risked to do it, but it was something like $40,000. And, I was of the – I was part of the camp that says kiss the $40,000 goodbye this is the dumbest thing we’ve ever done.

So, I don’t – I don’t claim credit for being any great visionary because I was basically opposed to the idea. But, it was really fun.  It was fun to do, it was fun to stage. Of course, history has proven that I was wrong and that the group collectively was right.

I remember world-famous oil operator, Oscar White referring to it as a starving artist sale. It was how he viewed NAPE when we started it because people don’t do business like that in those days. This was – this was taking secret confidential maps and prospect ideas and basically putting them on a wall for people to look at. And we just had never as an industry done business that way.

Mark: Yeah. So, listen to that people, listen to the history of that. Here’s a bunch of people the good idea and in the low crude price environment in the 90’s, they got together and started the fundamentals of what NAPE is now.

So, NAPE has grown tremendously since that time and, but once again we find ourselves in a low crude price environment and a lot of our audience out there is wondering is – should we go to NAPE, should we spend our teeny money to go to NAPE. And, I say they should, but what do you say about that?

Roger: Yeah. I know it’s expensive and I know if you’re an individual and you’re paying your own way that it can – that it can be expensive. But, you can meet in a day people that you would travel all over the country for a year to meet and probably not be able to meet.

It’s just that sort of wonderful synergy of bringing everybody together in one place. And, everybody’s there to develop contacts to develop new business opportunities, so it’s a great place to have a résumé in your pocket and a business card or a handful of business cards in your other pocket and take advantage of that. I mean you got everybody in one building for a day or two a year there’s just not any other opportunities like that.

Mark: Yeah. So, one of the things that I love about NAPE, it’s the only oil and gas event that I go to anywhere in the world where everybody that goes there is either there to buy something or to sell, so you have that energy going on.

Roger: That’s exactly right. And, it’s interesting to sort of gauge the mood in the room from year to year based on what the industry is doing. Of course in 2014, it was go, go, go and everybody will had a – was there for different reason, but I would argue that it’s probably less business done, less real business done in a boom year than there is done in an environment like we’re in now because people are working to create opportunities for their companies and for themselves personally.

And it’s just a different environment. It’s – maybe it’s a mutual support group, but it’s really a good place to be and take advantage of everybody being in one place.

Mark: Yeah. And so, the other thing I noticed about NAPE is you have a lot of people out there have properties, you have a lot of the operators out there and if you’re one of those people unfortunately that has been laid off, there’s a lot of people out there that are still hiring and they’re in that room. So, you have all these people that may be potential employers either now or in the future in one room at one place for a couple of days.

Roger: I think that’s very true. We’re, you know, we’re actually we provide land services to the industry. We do leasing, we do due diligence in acquisitions and divestiture. We’re working on a project now that’s been going on for several months that was a product of winter NAPE last year that we were introduced to some people who had gotten into – gotten into a deal and needed some help with it. And, we’ve had a handful of people working this deal ever since. That was a direct result of NAPE, it was not people we knew until we went to NAPE.

Mark: So, even low crude price environment of last year and this year, there are still deals to be on there’s still business to be made. And, like you said, Roger, you have everybody in one room, you could spend a year traveling around the US spending that money and still not touch all those people you have at NAPE in this one room?

Roger: That’s right. It’s just – there’s just no way.  And, people – people that you ordinarily would have a very difficult time getting an appointment with if you were to try to do this is a formal business setting and go to their city and call on them, they are there and they’re one of you and one of us as everybody’s prowling around and rubbing shoulders in the hall. So, it’s a place you got to be.

And, we try to send several of our folks every year, try to make sure our young folks get to go so they get a flavor of what this is all about and begin to see the bigger picture. We all get kind of pigeon-holed in what we do and being able to take a step back and look at international prospects, I mean there’ll be twenty or thirty countries here who are presenting acreage for bid and for development.

There’ll be banks there that are offering financing for people. There’ll be exploration and production companies, there’ll be land services companies, there’ll be vendors, people who do mapping which is really fun. It’s a small town setting because you are getting to rub shoulders with people that you might otherwise have a difficult time getting in touch with.

Mark: Yeah. And then, finally, if like you’re on the fence or you have to go talk to your management and get approval, besides the deals that are being done and besides the fact that everybody’s going there to buy or sell something and besides networking, it’s also a great learning event. Every year that I go, I learn something new.

And so, it’s a way to advance your career even if you’re not on the upstream side of the house and you want to know what landmen do or what operators do, it’s a great place to rub elbows because people there seem to talk freely about their business.

Roger: It’s funny. From the starving artist sale from the time when we went – when we just didn’t show anybody anything to where we are now where people talk much more openly and much more freely about what their ideas and their business concepts are, I learn something every time I go about trends that are getting started, areas that are new frontier areas perhaps, mature areas that are getting attention again, people that have money. And we all have ideas, but money is hard to come by and so, we get the money folks in the room with us which is really fun.

Mark: So, go, if you’re on the fence, if you’re not sure if you want to go, I’m telling you I’ll be there, Roger will be there, a whole bunch of your oil and gas peers will be there. We’ll stick a link in the show notes, so it’s easy to sign up.

And then, Roger I appreciate your time. If people wanted to learn more about you and your company, where should they go?

Roger:  We’ve got a website that is

Mark:  And, we’ll also stick a link to Roger’s company in the show notes as well.

Roger, thank you so much for your time today.

Roger:   Thank you, Mark. I appreciate it.

Mark: Folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.