It’s that time of year again everybody, time to dust off those roundtoes and pick up your sports coat from the cleaners because NAPE starts this week! As always, (or…you know, for the past 4 years), we are hosting the NAPE Kickoff Happy Hour on Tuesday, February 6th from 5-7pm. That’s…in 2 days if you are reading this on Sunday. Please read carefully as our menu options have recently changed. Seriously though, they have. I swear.
How it all Began…
Back in 2021 when Winter NAPE was rescheduled to take the place of Summer NAPE, because of COVID shutdowns and what not, it was about a week before things were set to start boiling over in Houston (I believe it was in June that year) and the new variant Delta was really picking up steam on the airwaves. [Some] people still thought it was the end of the world. So naturally, a lot of the major NAPE participants started cancelling their events out of “an abundance of caution.” Let’s be real, nobody wants to get headlines for hosting a super spreader event at the Houston Petroleum Club during an oil and gas expo. I get it.
I saw this as an opportunity. As I began reaching out to some good friends to see if people were really cancelling their travel plans, the opportunity became even more clear. People were still coming to Houston for NAPE. There just wasn’t going to be much to do. Well…what’s a landman going to do when you’ve got a whole bunch of people ready to have a good time, but nowhere to have it? Yeah, no shit, we threw together a last minute happy hour. I called up one of my best friends from childhood, Tommy Holmes, “hey man, you wanna throw a NAPE happy hour? All the big parties are getting canceled because of COVID.”
For any of you that know Tommy Holmes (Holmes Law PLLC), you can guess what his response was. “Fuck yeah! When is it?” The dude was even more excited when I told him it was less than a week away. He knew one of the head guys at Reserve 101…because Tommy knows everybody, and got us set up there. We had a blast. Everybody got…well, you can imagine. EFT’s own Matt Wilks threw us a bone and had ProFrac sign on as our first sponsor at the last minute, which we VERY MUCH APPRECIATED because fuck we ran up a hell of a tab. I think it was mostly Porter ordering $300 whiskey pours… But most of us figured we were going to get COVID anyways so might as well have a hangover to blame for the headache. A tradition was born.
Growing a Tradition
2022 was bigger and better, most of the COVID fears had died down, or at least the people bemoaning it were not as prevalent in my newsphere. We had a great turnout. EFT came in strong and I was able to meet a lot of new anons, along with catching up with some great old friends. Then last year…as some of you know, I had a really rough battle with ulcerative colitis in the tail half of 22, I lost 1/3 of my body weight and had anemia so bad I could barely stand up. NAPE was looming, we had our happy hour planned…but I had to make the call to sit that one out. It was not something I felt that I had the energy or stamina (even if I wasn’t drinking) to make it through. Friends were texting and DMing the entire week asking where I was. Fuck, that sucked.
Tommy stepped up and made the thing work. Everybody had a great time. He brought in a bunch of new sponsors and put the Intern and PermianLandman to work helping out. We started to approach capacity for our space at Reserve 101. As we looked over things a few weeks and months later, we kept debating back and forth whether we would pay more to rent out the whole bar, pay to have the furniture in the back room moved out during our event, or…move to a larger venue. During that process of reviewing things, I started to see a split on our guest list.
Some of our sponsors were a bit too loosely affiliated with oil and gas. We had people attending that worked at banks, or insurance companies, or financial advising firms. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely appreciate our sponsors for all of their help and support, but I was seeing some disconnect between what we had set out to establish and what we were actually achieving. Back when we first started this thing, I was working as a surface landman for Trinity Operating. LandmanLife was footing some of the bill because the store was still banging out orders constantly, so there was no issue really for the money aspect. It was just for fun.
Over the past couple of years as I have established myself as an independent landman and started our brokerage MYR Land Services, my focus has shifted also. I needed to have a happy hour with a targeted audience so that I could invite friends, clients, potential clients, and the usual EFT gang without being overrun by people that I would (certainly have a great time with, but) not really be interacting with much after that event. Regardless, we had our thing going already and I was willing to keep it going while asserting a bit more control over the guest list.
Then Reserve 101 came back to us and said they are closed for remodeling until March. Fuck. That threw a wrench into everything. Finding a new venue, while also trying to manage the guest list down (and also up) was going to be hard without some serious decisions. So I had to do what I had to do. I got selfish. The options that we explored for other venues didn’t suit what I had in mind. So I backed out. Told Tommy I was going to do my own thing this year, more laid back, more true to my nature, cheaper, dirtier, the kind of thing where people show up in jeans and boots with a fishing shirt instead of a sports coat. And that’s exactly what we’re doing on Tuesday night.
Back to My roots…
In order to keep things orderly for checking people in, we are not doing a mass open invite this year. If you’d like to attend, get in touch with me and I’ll add you to the list. I’m letting the Intern make decisions on who gets an invite and who doesn’t, so if for some reason your request gets denied please blame it all on him, he’s a judgy little bastard sometimes and he’s pretty sour that he has jury duty so he won’t be able to make it this year. The EFT community has provided so much love and support for me over the years that of course they are included, but we’re going to be mature and print nametags with people’s real names this year. If you want to write your anon name on your actual nametag, go right ahead, or if you feel so inclined, don’t put on your printed nametag and write “OilGodAnon42069” on a blank nametag so we can get a good laugh.
A More Mature Approach
The tough times that I had in 2022 led to a lot of self reflection and self discovery. I’m not going to get into all of that, but I will say that I don’t have the time or energy for meaningless bullshit anymore. I squashed my beef with SacFlap (although I still can’t not laugh when I say that…so I hope he’s a good sport about it), and have put to bed a lot of really pointless arguments with other people along the way. Look at us, all grown up and shit. We have roped Hotdog into coming down from Michigan by making him sign on as a sponsor for this years event and I couldn’t be happier to see him. The narrative that he is always sharing and promoting about the positive ways the oil and gas industry affects his local community, his state, our nation, our economy, and the world is something that we need a hell of a lot more of. We met through EFT, and I’m very fortunate to be able to call him a friend and also a client.
Our other sponsor this year is Mani Little Energy Law. One of the partners, Stephen Little, is a San Antonio guy (well, he is now, he’s actually from Georgia) that I have known for a long time. They do title work and oil and gas consulting for operators all over Texas and a few other states. Back when this happy hour first started, Stephen reached out to me and said that if we ever needed another sponsor to just let him know. Well, it took a few years but we finally made it happen. He has followed along with the LandmanLife Roadtrip to Nowhere longer than I really realized, and over the past couple of years we have gotten a lot closer professionally and as friends. Ya’ll are going to enjoy meeting him on Tuesday.
Some of the people that were invited probably don’t know what LandmanLife is, but I hope that they will take the time to look and see who we are (MYR Land Services, Omimex Energy, and Mani Little Energy Law) to understand why they were invited. No one was on the list by accident. I truly hope to see all of you there. It’s a great honor to be able to host something like this and I really do appreciate the opportunity.
ABOUT THIS EVENT
Hosted by LandmanLife for no better reason than to bring people together for a good time!
Going back to my roots, I’m gonna show up in boots
Don’t need fancy cocktail attire
The Landmen all know, let’s put on a show
We’re planning it all just under the wire
Time to crank up the fun for another good run
Let’s Kick Off NAPE with a bang
Come have a cold brew, we’d sure love to see you
At the Ice House with the LandmanLife gang
The 2024 NAPE Kickoff Happy Hour Sponsors: