APPEX Met This Firm's Objectives

International Bulletin Board

Fortesa International is a Houston-based exploration and production company with operations in the Frio Trend of Texas and an onshore concession block in Senegal, Africa. We decided to take a booth at the 2002 APPEX Property and Prospect Expo in Houston with the hope that it would be an effective venue for us to promote an interest in our Senegal opportunity.

With the London APPEX event fast approaching, this article is intended not only as a recap of our experience, but also to provide our impression of how effective APPEX is from a small company's point of view.


Our concession in Senegal is quite large (4,041 square kilometers) and contains a gas discovery that was drilled by the national oil company (Petrosen) in 1997. Fortesa took the license in 1999 to develop the gas discovery and evaluate the additional exploration potential on the block.

During the past three years we have conducted various studies to identify and delineate play trends in addition to the one containing the gas discovery. Fortesa finalized a Production Sharing Agreement with the government of Senegal in May 2001.

Development of the gas discovery is ongoing. Earlier this year we began installation of a pipeline to connect the gas discovery to existing infrastructure that will deliver gas to the local utility.

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Fortesa International is a Houston-based exploration and production company with operations in the Frio Trend of Texas and an onshore concession block in Senegal, Africa. We decided to take a booth at the 2002 APPEX Property and Prospect Expo in Houston with the hope that it would be an effective venue for us to promote an interest in our Senegal opportunity.

With the London APPEX event fast approaching, this article is intended not only as a recap of our experience, but also to provide our impression of how effective APPEX is from a small company's point of view.


Our concession in Senegal is quite large (4,041 square kilometers) and contains a gas discovery that was drilled by the national oil company (Petrosen) in 1997. Fortesa took the license in 1999 to develop the gas discovery and evaluate the additional exploration potential on the block.

During the past three years we have conducted various studies to identify and delineate play trends in addition to the one containing the gas discovery. Fortesa finalized a Production Sharing Agreement with the government of Senegal in May 2001.

Development of the gas discovery is ongoing. Earlier this year we began installation of a pipeline to connect the gas discovery to existing infrastructure that will deliver gas to the local utility.

At APPEX our objective was to find a partner with sufficient financing to fund our remaining seismic and drilling obligations for the block.

Our expectation was that a booth at this Expo would be an effective method to expose our deal to a large number of potential partner companies in a relatively short time and with relatively low cost.

We were gratified to see that in only its second year APPEX attracted several hundred exhibitors and thousands of attendees. Foot traffic in front of our booth was steady and at a high level.

We were very pleased, too, to see that there seemed to be as many buyers as there were sellers in attendance.

During the three days of actual exhibition we enjoyed quite a few visitors to our booth. Discounting the "old friends" and the idly curious, we had a total of 15 companies stop by and express some degree of interest.

It was educational to note the type of company that stopped to look at our deal. We divided the companies into the following categories:

  • Super major — 2.
  • Large oil and gas company — 3.
  • Independent company — 5.
  • Small investors — 5.

After the initial presentation of our opportunity at the booth, seven of the 15 companies expressed continued interest. Post-meeting follow-up with these seven companies resulted in three companies signing a Confidentiality Agreement and receiving a much more detailed technical presentation.

The three companies most interested in our project were from either the large oil and gas company or the independent categories.

Since the detailed technical presentations, one of the three companies has completed its evaluation of our deal and declined to participate. The two remaining companies continue to evaluate our opportunity.

Our primary objective in participating at APPEX was to find a partner, but it turns out there were additional benefits as well. For example:

Helpful information was freely exchanged.

Some of the companies that visited our booth and looked at our deal were able to give us valuable information, such as analogs for our play types or references to technical information, which enhanced our understanding of the identified play types.

Several contractors and vendors stopped by our booth.

Some offered unique expertise or services that might be employed to improve or clarify our interpretation of the identified play types.

Although we were busy at our own booth, we did find some time to visit the nearby booths.

Seeing how other companies present their ideas using varied display types was especially informative. We saw ways that we could better present our own data and be more effective or dramatic in delivering important information.

We have since incorporated some of these techniques into our presentation material.

Since the August APPEX meeting, we have put the discovery well on production and are generating cash flow. The remaining interested companies are finalizing their evaluations of our deal. We are confident that our APPEX participation will soon yield the quality partner we set out to attract.

We are now planning to return to APPEX next year. Who knows, by that time rather than looking for a deal to sell, we may be looking for one to buy.

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