The 51st Annual Meeting of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association is slated for Oct. 23-24, with the traditional Icebreaker Reception to be held on the evening of the 23rd at the Petroleum Museum and the full session of Kickoff Breakfast, Technical Sessions and Luncheon—including speakers—to be held on the 24th at the Petroleum Club in downtown Midland.
Here at the PBPA’s magazine we gathered some advance notice on what to expect through a Q-and-A with PBPA President Ben Shepperd. That discussion follows, and more information should be available, as the event draws nearer, at the PBPA website at pbpa.info.
What would you say is the biggest news to share about this year’s meeting?
Ben Shepperd: We’re excited this year to have several elected officials participating. In our annual meetings we try to have a good mix of the regulatory and policy-making side of the industry along with business leaders who can address the more specific and possibly technical industry items. I think we’ve got a great mix this year. Thursday morning we’ll lead off with David Barton, the New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources. The Secretary will discuss some of the positive things that are happening in the industry in New Mexico. And then we’ve got Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick to talk about a lot of the changes at the Railroad Commission and give us some insights on what the Commission is seeing in terms of oil and gas activity state-wide and in the Permian. So that’s exciting. And then we’re very pleased to have the Texas Speaker of the House,
Joe Straus, who will give us an overview of the recently concluded Texas Legislative Session as well as his thoughts as to what he foresees will be the issues that we should prepare for in the interim before the next session.
In the annual meeting in general, what topics are likely to be addressed?
Ben: We will have some very interesting panel discussions on water, with several water experts sharing different viewpoints on water use and reuse in general, and then specifically as it relates to oil and gas. We’ll have a panel on endangered species with Jim Lane, who’s the Director of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and Ross Melinchuk, who is the Deputy Executive Director for Natural Resources at Texas Parks and Wildlife. We’ll have an in-depth discussion on endangered species in general and lesser prairie chicken activities specifically. We’ve also got a panel on transportation issues—road construction and maintenance is a huge issue. Speaker Straus will give his talk at lunch, and then in the afternoon we’ll hear from “product transportation,” if you will. That is, we will hear from some pipeliners and oil haulers, as well as transporters of natural gas liquids, plus crude oil, to try to paint a picture of the current situation with respect to transportation. Of course with record-setting production comes a need for enhanced transportation infrastructure of those types. So that’s an interesting part and then I think we’ll round it out with the CEO panel and right now we’ve got confirmed Randy Foutch, who’s the President and CEO of Laredo Petroleum, and then we’ve got Tim Leach, who’s Chairman, CEO, and President at Concho Resources. We’ll talk about their investments and activity as well as their outlook for the future.
If all goes well in a meeting like this, what can it accomplish for PBPA?
Ben: Well I think the main goal is to inform our broader membership of what activities we’ve been involved in throughout the year, and what some of the primary issues are for the upcoming year. We’ll have a discussion with the broader membership and the board together to try to help inform policy. The other benefit is that it provides is an opportunity for members that may not see each other on a regular basis to interact with the board members. The board members and the chairman and I get to hear from all of our membership about what’s on their mind and all of those conversations help set our policy agenda.