In late April, George Media staff had the opportunity to go to the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Oil & Gas Symposia in New York. The annual event, also hosted in London and San Francisco, brings together IPAA’s corporate public members and the investment community. The Oil & Gas Symposia has a unique neutral format and for that reason the events are some of the most respected conferences for the independent sector. Industry executives, capital providers and investment professionals attend every year, and breakout sessions are held with corporate executives of participating companies. also have the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with presenters at various times during the symposia.
The IPAA is a long-standing organization promoting the issues of its members, (independent oil and natural gas producers), for nearly 80 years, and as such has developed the capacity to speak to member interests. Barry Russell, President and CEO, recently articulated that that the association has evolved into the “proud backbone of America’s energy supply”. The organization advocates its members’ interests to U.S. Congress and federal agencies, and also provides economical and statistical information about the industry.
The here and now
Currently, independent producers develop 90 per cent of domestic oil and gas wells, produce 82 per cent of domestic natural gas and produce 68 per cent of domestic oil and produce. According to the IPAA, independent producers are investing 150 per cent of their domestic cash flow into domestic oil and natural gas development, and borrow funds to enhance their efforts to find and develop more energy. The industry represented by IPAA is one that drives much of the American economy and beyond. Russell states in a recent article:
“The reality is simple enough; the impact American energy supply has on driving economic engines almost requires that energy issues relating to access, research, regulation and taxation be reviewed in creating economic policy, let alone a national energy plan… In fact, as much as the economy will remain a major political factor, we can expect to see energy, environment and climate change issues as a significant part of both Congress’ and the administration’s agendas moving forward.”
Advocacy for the industry
Because of the profound impact the IPAA can have on behalf of its members, the association is currently working on several initiatives that have been thoroughly developed over time. One of their major campaigns will be ensuring that regulatory changes don’t result in redundant and prohibitive measures against American oil and natural gas production.
Another mission the IPAA is leading is creating a partnership between more than a dozen state and national cooperating associations. The IPAA identified early some of the industry’s toughest challenges for this year, and began developing an aggressive campaign to prevent bad regulations – this project has been coined Project BRIEF (Bringing Real Information on Energy Forward). The campaign was originally conceived to respond to antidevelopment attacks on the regulation of oil and natural gas exploration and production. IPAA and its partners have studied U.S. state and federal environmental laws and regulations and the potential negative threat of restrictions on production and the group has begun to establish an education program to present the findings. Project BRIEF will be one of the most aggressive initiatives advocating on behalf of the industry.
Certainly, the IPAA is well on its way to anticipate other issues coming down the pipe to its members.
Ready for action
Last year, the association developed the Relationships in Government (RIG) program. They used the power of constituency and targeted members of Congress to show the importance of oil and gas production. This initiative has been successful on both political sides. The IPAA plans to continue building on the success of RIG and looks to establish well-cultivated relationships between the association and elected officials, all in the name of the industry. Adding to the IPAA’s portfolio are recent efforts to beef up public relations and communication efforts and the intent to establish a steady media presence – in order to leverage their proactive initiatives in the industry.
“Yes, these continue to be busy and interesting times for the oil and natural gas industry” Russell explained in a recent article, “and IPAA is fortunate to be supported by an engaged and enthusiastic membership, one that continues to make possible a robust, year-round schedule of programs. From the OGIS and Business Development Series, to NAPE® and semiannual membership meetings, IPAA is proud of a membership participation that allows it to continue to offer the industry unparalleled opportunities for both networking and information”. To view information about latest IPAA reports, and find out more about membership, visit www.ipaa.org.