HOUSTON—For the first time in two long years, the oil and gas industry has apparently regained its mojo: in tone, swagger and genuine optimism, the annual Nape Summit was back to form.

With attendance of 12,299, Houston’s grand oil and gas show was bigger in 2018, drawing nearly 1,100 more people than last year’s exposition. Crowds swarmed an exhibition hall packed with E&Ps, financers and service companies.

Exhibitors held court in spruced-up booths. Neatly stacked prospect sheets and maps were deployed and the usual tradeshow trinkets—footballs, flash drives and personal manicure sets—were for the taking.

But the key for an exhibition that prides itself on being “where deals happen” was that transactions were indeed done.

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