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The North American Prospect Expo is taking place in Houston. It is a forum for oil and gas companies of truely all sizes to set up a booth and pedal their prospects. I had the good fortune of spending the day there today.

Attendees range from Chevron, Exxon and Marathon on the large end, to the sole proprieter/independent on the small end. They all were looking to network with other companies in the market to buy or sell a prospect, acreage, or producing wells.

My most significant observation was that it appeared about 90% of the deals being displayed were resource plays. In other words, unconventional prospects, or to take it a step further - shale and other tight sandstone, siltstone and limestone plays.

Most of that 90% were Marcellus or Eagleford plays. Barnett, Granite Wash, Niobrara, and a host of other formations were also represented to at least a small extent. There were a couple formations and/or locations I have not ever heard of as being potential drilling targets. Maybe I should have noted these in particular - maybe they are the hot areas of 2012.

I took a look at some of the booths of my favorite small companies - Brigham, Common Resources, Hilcorp, Denbury, SMT, Roxanna, EOG, DRI, Future, Crimson, etc. Only a few of these are public - the others, I know of from either providing services to, friends work for (or own), or I simply am aware of them and think they have a good strategy or makeup in one way or another. A couple of them are service providers rather than explorers. The presentation materials were professional, the prospects were legit, and they were pretty upbeat about the business. They are all principally onshore players; offshore-heavy companies were not displaying, rather they had people at the event scouting the onshore opportunities.

Why post this on the (as recently pointed out), relatively dead oil and gas board? Maybe this too, can spark a bit more interest and information on what is happening in the industry these days. There are a lot of public oil and gas companies or thier business models that don't seem to get addressed here, nor are trends discussed that are based on first-hand observations or knowledge. I know some of the posters, responders and lurkers know more than they share beyond links to publicly published articles. I invite all those petroleum engineers, geologists, geophysicists, as well as other petroleum related readers and investors to speak up and contribute.

Regardless of the environmental, political or opinion based approaches, the fact is, the vast majority of current activity in the US oil and gas business is based on the "resource plays". If nothing else, at least this confirmed in my mind, that this is the place to play for the next year or two. Long or Short.
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