The Ohio Oil and Gas Association hosted its 68th annual Winter Meeting in Columbus on March 11th – March 13th which brought together 1,150 individuals including membership and top industry leaders from Ohio and the nation to provide the most current updates of the state’s oil and gas industry.
The first day was considered a day of “pre-meeting events,” leaving most the day for OOGA Committees, Executive Committee and Board of Trustees to reconvene and continue to work towards improving the Association. This also served as time for exhibitors to set up and prepare for the following day’s main event. Succeeding the board and committee meetings, the first speaker event was hosted in collaboration with the Ohio Geological Society. This event brought in a large crowd, as the topic was “Hydraulic Fracturing and Earthquakes: Ethically, How Do We Move Forward and Do the Right Thing?” presented by Donald D. Clarke, AAPG Distinguished Ethics Lecturer. The Association hosted its Corporate Member Reception following the OGS presentation. The reception provided an opportunity for the Association to show its appreciation of its valued 225 Corporate Members who convened for hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
The next two days held the main events including updates from national authorities, state and federal elected officials, and included production, exploration, legal and legislative industry information. The keynote speaker for this year was Dr. Philip K. Verleger, president of PKVerleger LLC, his research has focused on the study of energy commodity markets and more recently the amazing transformation of the US energy sector. Dr. Verleger will have a feature article in the April issue of the Bulletin on his presentation on “Energy’s Black Swan: Why Saudi Arabia Refused to Cut” provided interesting insight on current oil pricing.
Packed into the Business Session Verleger presented to, was a powerhouse of additional speakers. Karen Harbert is the president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. Harbert leads the Institutes’ efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally. It was a packed house during her presentation on “America’s Energy Future: Challenges & Opportunities.” Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives 4th District of Oklahoma J.C. Watts, Jr. provided a captivating presentation on “The State of Washington.” Watts has tremendous insight on national policy through his experience in Congress and is still greatly involved with the industry through the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance. Matt Kellogg, Tax and Environmental Council for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) also provided a national perspective during Thursday’s business session where he provided an update of what IPAA the national trade association is involved with.
Federal officials representing Ohio were present during this session as well, and the Association is appreciative for their support of the industry. U.S. Senator Rob Portman made a special guest appearance, along with U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, 6th District of Ohio. Both gave speeches echoing similar messages, on the importance of having policies and regulations that encourage responsible growth for development of oil and gas in Ohio, and not hinder it. Both of these officials recognize the impact this industry is making in the state of Ohio, creating jobs and the tremendous economic impact, and want to see the oil and gas boom continue.
The Winter Meeting also hosted a strong political presence from the Ohio General Assembly. Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, along with Andy Thompson, State Representative from the 95th district, Christina Hagan, State Representative from the 50th District, Al Landis, State Representative from the 98th District, and Sean O’Brien, State Representative from the 63rd District, and Ohio Senator Troy Balderson all stopped by the event.
The Thursday afternoon business session included an Ohio Statehouse Roundtable discussion. The Roundtable dialogue was between: Ohio Senator Troy Balderson, 20th District, Rep. Sean O’Brien, Rep. Al Landis, and Rep. Andy Thompson. Moderated by Matt Hammond of Chesapeake Energy, this discussion centered on Ohio policy impacting the oil and gas industry, as well as highlighting the importance of this industry being in Ohio and staying in Ohio.
OOGA Technical Committee Chair Jody Jones of Chesapeake Energy and OOGA Environmental Committee Chair Melissa Hamsher, gave their perspective on a regulatory updates as well.
Shifting from the political recap, the Winter Meeting also included a slew of industry professionals covering various topics. The other panel discussion that took place was a Clinton Horizontal Panel. Moderated by OOGA President David R. Hill, Mark Lytle of Buckeye Oil Producing Co., Greg Mason from the Energy Cooperative, and Bob Trevail of Dallas Energy, LLC, all reflected and examined on their experiences drilling horizontally in the Clinton sandstone.
Additional industry specific presentations were covered during the Thursday morning business session. OOGA’s legal counsel W. Jonathan Airey, Of Counsel for Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, gave an Ohio Oil and Gas Legal Report. Martin Shumway, of Shumway Resources, LLC, gave an in-depth presentation on the Debrosse & Exploration Report. Jackie Stewart of Energy In Depth, and Mike Chadsey of OOGA gave an “Out in the Field” report of how these two groups are collaborating to make a grassroots impact in local communities. The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) Executive Director Rhonda Reda gave a presentation on what OOGEEP does to educate the community and Ohio schools on the oil and gas industry.
As all of these business session presentations were occurring, another component of the Winter Meeting was simultaneously taking place right outside the presentations in the form of an industry trade show. This year the Association had 83 exhibitor booths displaying products, demonstrating new equipment techniques, and representing multifaceted components of the industry. As attendees came and went and transitioned between business sessions, they could engage with exhibitors showing the latest in oil and gas.
And of course this event would not be possible without our sponsors. Even during trying times in the industry we appreciate the support from each and every one of you.
The Association hopes to see each of you back at next year’s 69th annual Winter Meeting.