One of the biggest annual expos in Houston contributes is expected to contribute $17 million to the local economy this year, according to new projections.

Now in its 20th year the twice-annual NAPE Expo is forecasted to bring $17 million in spending, with $2 million coming from the group's summer event and $15 million from the winter expo. NAPE is the world's largest upstream energy and petroleum expo. The Summer Expo is slated for August 22-24, 2012 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"NAPE is such a strong asset to Houston's economy," said Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Twice a year, thousands of oil and gas professionals spend several days in our city--validating Houston's position as the Energy Capital of the World. This summer alone, we anticipate NAPE will bring more than $2.1 million to the local economy, and we appreciate their commitment to Houston."

Summer NAPE is the smaller of the two annual expos and is expected to draw more than 5,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors including producing properties and prospects from across the U.S. and around the world, capital formation and services and technologies.

Created by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) as the North American Prospect Expo and held in 1993 at the Westin Galleria hotel ballroom, the first NAPE had 80 booths and 800 attendees. In 1995 the Independent Petroleum Association of America was added as a partner, and in 2004 the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and American Association of Petroleum Geologists also joined as partners. The following year the first Summer NAPE was held.