It can take a super-successful fortune teller to come up with a timely forum theme a few years out from an annual meeting.
Such was the case with the executive business session -- "Energizing the World in the 21st Century" -- scheduled for the upcoming AAPG Annual Convention in Houston. Session co-chairs are John Adamick, Jeff Lund, Mike Coffield and Evelyn Medvin.
"The idea for the session came about in 2003," Adamick said. "Demand was rising, hydrocarbon prices were rising, but there wasn't a lot of exploration activity worldwide in the industry.
"It was clear the industry would find itself hard-pressed to meet demand in the years to come," Adamick noted. "So we came up with the idea to have executives speak on how their companies were going to meet anticipated demand."
It may not be totally unique to put this kind of forum together, but this one has a twist.
"It's pretty pioneering to get together that large a group of E&P business leaders to talk about strategy as opposed to technical issues," Lund noted.
"We wanted senior level executives because we wanted them to speak about the guiding of their companies," Adamick added. "Inherently, this is a growth story, a positive story."
It's also a story that all should hear, according to Medvin.
"The most important thing we can do is listen to senior executives in the oil companies to understand where they're moving their companies," Medvin said. "Everything they do has to be for turning a profit, and understanding their direction helps the entire industry know where we need to be moving -- and all of them have different takes on it."
In fact, to get a balanced picture, the co-chairs went after oil companies that occupy various niches in the industry. A small regional player, for instance, no doubt will address the issues differently from a super-major.
"Some are small start-ups," Adamick said, "and some are regional like Cairn, which is active in India and was chosen to represent an aggressive independent in Asia."
"The big ones like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell are always large draws," Adamick noted, "because what they do affects a lot of things in the business."
Other companies represented on the speakers' roster are Europeans Norsk Hydro and Statoil, which also have U.S. bases. Newfield, Noble Energy, Anadarko and privately-held onshore-focused Samson Resources will provide insight as well.
The inclusion of Saudi Aramco is noteworthy, given that it essentially controls the spigot.
Adamick is optimistic the session also will serve to provide some fringe benefits in the form of garnering a lot of publicity for AAPG and attracting attendees who ordinarily would not turn out for the annual meeting.
In fact, one of the real drivers is to get the investment community interested, Lund noted.
"We also hope a lot of employees, like from Shell and Chevron and such, who might not have gone to the meetings previously might show up," Adamick said, "since the top guy is going to be there."