Offshore Technology Conference Lives Up to Hype

The 2007 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, TX, is the world's largest offshore oil and gas technology event of its kind and this year it grew even larger. From April 30 through May 3, anyone and everyone involved in offshore oil and gas technology business flocked to Reliant Center and Stadium to learn about successes in the technical paper sessions, look for new tools on the trade show floor, recruit more business, meet up with old friends and make some new ones.

According to an OTC announcement, approximately 60,000 people walked through the aisles of Reliant Center, outdoor tents, and the newest addition to the show – the outdoor pavilion and Reliant Stadium. The square footage increased by 46,000 net sq ft this year to total 515,600 sq ft, and let me tell you, my feet are aching.

Not only was the increase exhibit space obvious, but so were the people. By Tuesday afternoon, the crowds were so thick it was difficult to walk the aisles. Not only was the increased foot traffic obvious, but for the first time since OTC moved to Reliant, I had to wait in line for the ladies room!

OTC is the venue of choice for making big announcements, and this year, the offshore oil and gas companies did not disappoint. Some highlights include:

  • Expro, a well flow management company, announced a new brand identity and unifying mission to set the framework for its future – "One Brand, One Mission." Expro acquisitions that are now consolidated under the new Expro brand are Ecodrill, DHV Downhole Video, Flarestack, Kinley, Tronic, Petrotech, Power Chokes, PowerWell Services, and Surface Production Systems.
  • Cameron chose OTC to announce its next phase in systems solutions, offering CAMFORCE Subsea Processing Systems. CAMFORCE is expected to provide multiphase boosting, separation, and other enabling technologies to the emerging subsea processing market.
  • Intec Engineering brought together representatives from Statoil, Petrobras, Cameron, and FMC to discuss the future of subsea processing technology. Each representative spoke of their views of current subsea processing technology capabilities and challenges. They are involved in a Joint Industry Study initiated by INTEC Engineering in January 2007 to assess the subsea processing equipment industry.
  • FMC launched a configurable flow management computer that provides graphical information for multiple liquid and gas petroleum metering systems, allowing operators to continually monitor operations, record historical data, review trends, and diagnose unexpected events from a single touch screen.
  • The MMS hosted a press conference to discuss its latest reports. One report confirms continued expansion into the Gulf's deepwater citing 12 new deepwater discoveries in 2006 as well as an increase in deepwater leasing activities. The second report estimated an oil production increase over the next 10 years to 2.1 MMb/d.
  • When Petrobras took the podium Tuesday afternoon, the company was greeted with a standing room only crowd. Marcos Assayag came from accepting his OTC Distinguished Achievement Award Luncheon to give an overview of Petrobras and its activities off Brazil as well as in the GOM.
  • M&I Electric Industries changed its name to American Electric Technology. Though the name changed, the company continues to supply power delivery products and services to the energy industries.
  • Enventure Global Technology announced that it had set a record for the longest Solid Expandable Tubular (SET) system with the installation of 6,867 ft of open hole 7 5/8 x 9 7/8 in. SET system in Nexen Petroleum's Aspen well in the GOM.
  • Laser Cladding Services announced details of its partnership with NASA that led to a recent laser coating technology breakthrough said to increase component reliability in harsh environments for offshore applications.