The annual NAPE show in Houston attracted more than 16,000 people. That’s an unofficial total, but word on the show floor was that attendance had jumped by about 1,000 from the prior year. Since its inception, NAPE has morphed more toward a traditional trade-show format, with significant vendor presence. Prospects still comprise the meat of the show, nonetheless. This year, oil projects were prominent, from exploration to field rejuvenation prospects. NAPE 2008 had lots of Bakken prospects in the Williston Basin, spurred by EOG’s 2006 discovery of Parshall Field in North Dakota’s Mountrail County. Naturally, gas prospects were also for sale. Shale plays were everywhere. People are looking at all the traditional producing basins with new eyes in light of the stunning success of the Barnett shale in North Texas. Marcellus shale prospects in the Appalachian Basin were quite popular. The mainstream media have even picked up on this play, including CNN. This year, I particularly noticed a number of Paradox Basin prospects. Industry interest has definitely been piqued by such recent successes as Delta Petroleum’s Greentown and Salt Valley projects in Utah’s Grand County. So many tempting projects! So many people to see! For my money, NAPE is a must.