FARMINGTON — The 2014 Four Corners Oil and Gas Conference at McGee Park earlier this month was the best attended ever, officials said.
"It was definitely the biggest one we (have) had," said John Roe, conference committee member.
Though official numbers haven't been released, before the conference, officials were expecting about 2,20 people to attend the two-day conference.
Audra Winters, Farmington Chamber of Commerce CEO and conference committee member, said more than 1,400 people were served lunch, which was included in the registration, on the first day, and more than 1,300 the next day.
"I believe it went fantastic," she said in a phone interview.
The highlights of this year's conference were the guest speakers, she said.
Conference speakers included New Mexico Environment Secretary David Martin and Kathleen Sgamma, Western Energy Alliance vice president of public and government affairs.
Unsurprisingly, two of the best attended of the 24 presentations were about drilling and production in the Mancos Shale formation.
Jeff Villalobos, Encana Corp. completion manager, delivered a presentation to a standing-room-only audience on the first day of the conference.
The following day, Ken McQueen, WPX Energy's San Juan Basin director, presented information on his company's experience with the Mancos Shale before a standing room only crown of more than 220 people.
McQueen said he has a simple approach to finding oil in the Gallup Sandstone play, which includes the Mancos Shale formation.
"If you want to know where the sweet spot is, just look at where people are and where the permits are being given," he said as he stood before a slide of a map indicating where the wells were in the Chaco area. Much of the recent drilling has been in the Lybrook area.
More than 400 vendors from throughout North America attended the conference and set up in the Convention Center and the Coliseum.
Winters said one of the challenges the committee faced was routing attendees to the Coliseum because the building is a farther walking distance from the conference presentations.
"It's always a struggle to get people to go to the Coliseum," she said.
As the committee looks ahead to 2016, Winters said the members will review surveys that were handed out to attendees and find ways to make the next conference better.
However, the challenge of finding speakers is already on her mind.
"We want to make sure our speakers have the knowledge," she said, "We're always looking for speakers for the event."