Buyers and Sellers Happy

At APPEX, Some Are Both

The upcoming APPEX event in Houston is set to draw numerous repeat customers beckoned by the show's theme to "Discover More in 2004."

Cherokee Production is among the repeats that have had a booth each year since the event's debut in 2001.

"We're both a buyer and a seller," said Bill Parmley, geologist and president of Cherokee, which he also operates.

"Since I'm a geologist, the cost to generate prospects versus buying is such that it's better for me to generate," Parmley said. "But I like to see everything that's out there.

"People have bought into my wells from as far away as Vancouver and Wyoming," Parmley said. "APPEX is a tremendous draw."

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The upcoming APPEX event in Houston is set to draw numerous repeat customers beckoned by the show's theme to "Discover More in 2004."

Cherokee Production is among the repeats that have had a booth each year since the event's debut in 2001.

"We're both a buyer and a seller," said Bill Parmley, geologist and president of Cherokee, which he also operates.

"Since I'm a geologist, the cost to generate prospects versus buying is such that it's better for me to generate," Parmley said. "But I like to see everything that's out there.

"People have bought into my wells from as far away as Vancouver and Wyoming," Parmley said. "APPEX is a tremendous draw."

Like many attendees at the various prospect expos being offered, Parmley praised the convenience of attending APPEX, now held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

It's a big deal, but the dealing is done on a personal and friendly basis.

"You can go through the whole show fairly easily and see all the booths, which is not so easy at a bigger show," he said. "Still, it's getting bigger each year, and I'm seeing more and more new people there."

He's not alone. Joining Cherokee and other exhibitors in the repeat category is Sandalwood Oil & Gas, a company that already has drilled 10 wells this year and plans to drill another 15 before year-end, according to company president Dan Smith.

Smith, also a past president of AAPG, attributes much of this activity to prospect expos like APPEX.

"Overall, just about all we've done is sold," Smith said, "mainly because of prospect shows' exposure, and APPEX has been really good to us."

A caveat: While there are instances of deals being finalized on the floor, don't consider your booth investment a failure if you close the show without closing a sale.

"I've never sold on the spot," Smith said. "Generally we make a long list of people who come by and are interested and end up making appointments where they come by and do due diligence — reviewing seismic data with the workstation and such.

"We're then able to sell the prospects in that manner," Smith said, "where the contact was made at the show. And we've also sold some things by 'word of mouth,' where a company decided a prospect didn't fit its needs but led us to another company where it would."

Because of this type of carryover from a prospect expo, hard and fast statistics for what sells directly as a result of each show are elusive.

"It's far more complex than that," Smith said, but "a show like APPEX can be carried to an exponential value.

"For instance, a company may look at a prospect and not buy," he said, "but a familiarity is established. Then we may be able to sell them the next prospect that comes along.

"This is an extension of the value of the show," Smith added, "where contacts are made that have multiple effects."

Aside from the "art of the deal" aspect, APPEX also can be fertile ground for job hunters.

"I know of one guy who went to APPEX last year looking for a job," Smith said. "Because of the contacts made, he got several offers and landed a good job."

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