NAPE Summit and Expo wraps up at GRB with focus on oil and gas

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NAPE Summit and Expo wraps up at GRB (KTRK)

The 25th annual NAPE Summit and Expo ended Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center, but not with the crowd of attendees seen during the oil boom years.

Although, it was more than three years ago when the oil downturn hit.

The event focuses on the oil and gas industry and the forecast for the year ahead is for oil prices to remain stable, according to a Texas Railroad Commissioner.

"I believe between $58 and $66 per barrel for a good part of the year is a good range with no big fluctuations," said commissioner Ryan Sitton. "There's still a big global demand for hydrocarbon energy, and we're in a great position to provide it."

The big need is for more refineries and transportation to deliver the products.

The Houston area has not seen the recovery of the thousands of jobs lost starting three years ago, when oil prices plummeted. Prices have more than doubled from the lows, trading now in the $60 range. Even so, big oil corporations, including those who explore offshore, have remained cautious.

"We're waiting to believe in that price rebound before we jump back in the deep water and start investing again," said Chad Elias, who is an incoming industry group chairman.

At the same time, shale plays are still active, including in the Permian Basin of west Texas.

Technology advances are increasing, and costs to extract are coming down, according to Sanjit Bhattacharya of Redstone Partners.

"For example, a rig from three years ago will do only half of what one now does today. So between technology and the price it's been a double boost for our industry."
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