“This year marks the 50th edition of OTC and we want attendees to walk away with a sense of the industry’s and of OTC’s legacy, of where we came from, of what we’re doing in the present and where we’re going in the future.”
– OTC Chairman, Wafik Beydoun
A lifetime of learning experience commenced when energy professionals, offshore energy industry experts and leaders from across the globe came together at NRG Park in Houston, 30 April–3 May to celebrate the 50th edition of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
This year’s conference was primarily focused on subject matters such as the present state of the industry, reducing costs and enhancing overall value, ground-breaking technologies in a low oil price environment, and industry-leading safety practices in addition to persisting themes.
Let’s have an aerial perspective of the four-day long conference where a confluence of ideas occurred which would play a crucial role in the times to come.
From the very first day, the conference discussed the future of the oil and gas industry by highlighting an array of ideas which shall pave the way forward for the industry in general. Technology being the prime focus here, the conference noted how high-speed telemetry can be incorporated to save precious rig time and how BHGE can provide a holistic solution for deep-water exploration, to name a few.
Not shying away from moral responsibility, OTC is committed to spreading awareness about human trafficking. Let us take a quick look at the highlights of the first day:
- Saudi Aramco’s emphasis on discovery, recovery, and sustainability — “Business challenges are at the forefront of our scientists’ creative minds,” says Ashraf AlTahni, director of research at Aramco Services Co. (ASC), Saudi Aramco’s U.S. subsidiary, “Their solutions are spurring future Aramco innovation and technology.”
- Immense potential in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology to let oil and gas businesses stretch their human resources further than ever before, making multisite operations possible while enhancing safety, efficiency, and reliability at the enterprise level.
- Adaptability and experience will shape the success story of the energy industry in the times to come.
- Knowledge sharing shall be the quantum leap for offshore oil and gas in 2018.
- Emerging focus on cost-saving tools and techniques.
- A new era for well construction begins as the gap between planning and execution through better use of data and collaboration gets narrower.
- It’s about time that companies start pushing for new ways of thinking within the industry.
- Produce today to avoid panic tomorrow: Looking for an Energy Generation
- Minimizing the environmental impact of projects will determine the sustainability of the industry.
- Increasing relevance of Gulf of Mexico.
As day one set the stage for intense technological discussion, day two advanced the discussion further covering diverse areas for e.g. re-imagining business by embracing digital technology, exploring the ‘digital twin’ for offshore, redefining water treatment, facilitating responsible productions in arctic regions and further research projects offering future offshore solutions. Given below are the major highlights of the second day:
- BP’s ‘Technology Outlook’ examining the potential of technology in the industry through 2050.
- Emerson’s model for reservoir-driven intelligence.
- OTC’s ‘The Next Wave’ program to mentor young industry professionals. The program is a forum for attendees to share, learn, and network with their peers.
- A new compact sub-sea tree is designed to reduce overall system costs across the total life of the field.
- Motion compensation technology has unlocked the full freedom of movement between vessels and assets.
- Topsides processing can deliver greater safety with better efficiency.
- What gets measured gets done – Myriad solutions in Big Data (Click here for an exclusive insight on data analytics in the oil and gas industry) will shape the future course of operations.
After two days of focused discussion on technological aspects, day three witnessed some critical insights to chalk out methods for adding value to the current framework of business. For example, doing away with the dark age of the industry with open communication between operator and suppliers, adding value to the industry through improved soft skills and enhancing decision making with converging technologies and adoption of artificial intelligence. For other key issues, take a look at the pointers below:
- The oil and gas industry should translate the shift to low carbon future into business opportunities, rather perceiving it as a threat.
- Vital to separate weak science from good science, and more importantly, propaganda masquerading as science.
- Three pillars of improved performance and cost during project delivery: standardization, supply chain-led solutions and the adoption of a culture of new performance.
- Intellectual Property (IP), the lifeblood of service companies and oil and gas producers.
- Abundant technical and commercial opportunities in One Gulf.
- Diving into the ‘data lake’ to find value in upstream.
The conference came to a crescendo with the promise to look forward to yet another unprecedented discovery or innovation which shall become a prime mover for the industry in the years to come. Here are the highlights of the fourth day:
- Relevance, strategy, and alliance shall pave the way: Rod Larson, the CEO of Oceaneering International, shared thoughts on improving efficiency and economics through partnerships and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
Read why collaboration is the next big thing for the oil and gas industry
- Success story of Shell’s Malikai project: The spotlight was on Malikai’s cost-effective platform design, enhanced safety, and its mooring system.
- The determinants of operational excellence lie in digital disruption.
- Tackling Avatar technology in the upcoming crew change.
- Challenges and solutions in data analytics.
- Testing, timing, and technology for increasing equipment reliability.
- Digital assessment solutions over manual inspection.
- New standards on safety issued.
- Onshore or offshore, gas turbines are central to operations.
- Inclusion and diversity will bring greater results in the industry.
- The digital journey cuts across all internal and external boundaries, delivering cultural and organizational transformations.
Apart from the prized discussions on the table, seventeen breakthrough innovations were recognized by OTC this year in its ‘Spotlight on New Technology Awards’. The 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals was presented to Brian Skeels and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations and Institutions to Shell and SBM Offshore. OTC’s Heritage Award was presented to Cesar del Vecchio, and Tom Sifferman received a Special Citation.
Undoubtedly, the interest in this landmark platform is on a continuous rise as this year’s event witnessed participation of over and above 61,300 attendees from more than 100 countries.
In good times and in bad, the annual OTC has remained ardent in its pursuit to provide energy professionals a venue to come together for the exchange of ideas and opinions imperative to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.
Encapsulating the rich legacy and sincere commitment of OTC in the words of the OTC Chairman, “We are grateful to the offshore energy industry, our exhibitors, and our attendees who have and continue to collectively work to uncover new techniques, technologies, and connections at OTC year after year. More importantly, we look forward to the innovations and discoveries we will make together at OTC over the next 50 years of the conference.”
OTC 2018 was a majestic extravaganza. Hope to see you at OTC 2019!