In turbulent times for the oil & gas industry, the OTC honours its reputation

Experts from the offshore energy industry around the world came together on 4 - 7 May 2015 for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) at the NRG Park in Houston. More than 94,700 attendees from 130 countries gathered at the annual conference, demonstrating OTC’s position as the leading forum to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for the safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable development of offshore oil and gas resources. It is the sixth largest attendance in the 47-year history of OTC.

cadru-general-expoThe sold-out exhibition was the largest in show history at 695,005 ft², including outdoor exhibits, up from 680,025 ft² in 2014. This year’s conference also had 2,682 companies exhibiting, up from 2,568 in 2014, representing 37 countries. International companies made up 42 percent of exhibitors.

Ed Stokes, the chairman of OTC said: “OTC continues to bring the world to Houston. The record-setting number of paper submissions ensured a high-quality technical program, covering the latest innovations and applications. Coupled with superb panels, in-depth executive keynotes, a new crop of Spotlight on New Technology award winners and a record-setting exhibition, OTC drew everyone from CEOs to engineers to government officials”.

This year’s event featured 11 panel sessions, 29 executive keynote presentations at luncheons and breakfasts, and nearly 300 technical paper presentations. Speakers - including major, independent and national oil companies; federal and regional government officials; and academics - presented their views on a wide variety of topics, including future industry directions, operational integrity and risk management.

OTC’s Spotlight on New Technology Awards recognized 17 technologies for their innovation in allowing the industry to produce offshore resources, including two companies in the new category of Small Business Awards. This awards program is exclusively for OTC exhibitors and showcases the latest and most advanced technologies that are leading the industry into the future.

The 2015 Spotlight on New Technology winners are:

• MultiNode™ all-electric intelligent well system by Baker Hughes

The Baker Hughes MultiNode™ all-electric intelligent well system is the industry’s first advanced completion system that provides remote-controlled monitoring and precise control of production zones to manage water and gas breakthrough, and improve ultimate recovery. The system adjusts to changing reservoir conditions by choking back high-water and high-gas producing zones, balancing production along the lateral.

• Mark IV High-Availability (HA) BOP Control System by Cameron

Cameron’s Mark IV High-Availability (HA) BOP Control System features an industry-first three-Point of Distribution (POD) design option for subsea BOPs. The third POD provides added redundancy for improved operational availability of the drilling system to as much as 98%. Each POD’s simplified design improves reliability.

• Dreamliner by fishbones

Fishbones Dreamliner defines a new level of simplicity, accuracy, and efficiency in reservoir stimulation. Dreamliner increases productivity by creating an array of targeted small diameter laterals into formations. Numerous laterals are individually but simultaneously drilled by harnessing fluid flow through turbines utilizing standard rig pumping equipment and existing wellbore fluid.

• Annulus Monitoring System by FMC Technologies

FMC Technologies’ Annulus Monitoring System provides independent condition monitoring within the subsea wellhead from the onset of drilling. The communication system delivers actionable information to the operator during critical phases of well installation and commissioning from multiple analogue or digital sensors within annular locations.

• RezConnect™ Well Testing System by Halliburton

The RezConnect™ Well Testing System is the industry’s first system to offer full acoustic control of drill-stem testing tools. Downhole samplers, valves, and gauges are controlled in real-time and their status is communicated to the surface for confidence in your ability to control, measure, and analyze your well.

• Deepwater Pile Dredge by Oceaneering

The Oceaneering Deepwater Pile Dredge is an electrically-driven system with pumps that provide water jetting and suction to excavate piles at any depth. The jetting provides a 360° pattern to fluidize the soil inside the pile, and then suction pumps remove the soil from the pile.

• Magna Subsea Inspection System™by Oceaneering

The Oceaneering Magna Subsea Inspection System™ is a versatile screening inspection tool that assesses the mechanical integrity of assets at a high rate of speed without disrupting production. The advanced system is ROV-deployable, inspects 360° around the pipe, and provides real-time data of the wall condition with a single deployment.

• Multiphase Compressor by OneSubsea

The OneSubsea® Multiphase Compressor is the world's first and only true subsea wet gas compressor. The multiphase compressor, developed with Statoil and Shell, represents a break-through in technology, enabling compression of the unprocessed well stream without any need for pre-processing. The technology was primarily developed to increase recovery rates and to cost-effectively increase the tieback distances of subsea gas fields.

• ARCA Chain Connector by SBM Offshore

A new design of chain connector attaching mooring lines to floating units. Placing the chain articulation in the mooring line allows them to be recovered for inspection and maintenance. In response to market demand, the ARCA also enables for diverless connection/disconnection and significant cost reduction for turret mooring systems.

• GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling service by Schlumberger

GeoSphere* reservoir mapping-while-drilling service reveals subsurface-bedding and fluid-contact details more than 100 ft [30 m] from the wellbore. This reservoir-scale view provides an unprecedented depth of investigation, enabling operators to optimize landing, maximize reservoir exposure, and refine field development plans using deep-directional measurements enabled by real-time interpretation solutions.

• Quanta Geo photorealistic reservoir geology service by Schlumberger

Quanta Geo* photorealistic reservoir geology service redefines imaging in oil-base mud to provide highly detailed, core-like microresistivity images that visually represent formation geology. These images enable confident visual identification of facies and determination of directional trends, thus reducing uncertainty in reservoir models, making better field development plans, and quantifying project economics.

• Discovery® by Tracerco

Discovery® revolutionizes subsea pipeline inspection, allowing operators to externally inspect coated lines for flow assurance and pipeline integrity issues without removing any coatings. Discovery® provides data without production interruption, identifies hydrate, wax, asphaltene or scale, and offers results in real time. • VersaCutter by Versabar The Versacutter provides a fundamentally new way of cutting through offshore platform piles and well conductors at a depth of up to 20 feet below the mudline. The Versacutter delivers a long reciprocating cutting wire below the mudline by jetting, with the wire continuously cutting through the piles and conductors.

• Red Eye® Subsea Water-Cut Meter by Weatherford

The Red Eye® Subsea Water-Cut Meter uses near-infrared absorption to provide water-onset detection, water-cut measurement, and water-to-hydrate inhibitor-ratio measurement. The meter can operate in full three-phase flow streams at any gas-volume fraction and is not affected by changes in salinity, eliminating the need for corrections related to these factors. • Total Vibration Monitor with Angular Rate Gyro by Weatherford The Weatherford Total Vibration Monitor with Angular Rate Gyro (TVM+) is a downhole sensor that provides critical drilling dynamics data in real-time and recorded formats and utilizes the industry’s first MEMS-based (micro-electromechanical system) angular-rate gyro. This unique device enables downhole-sensor measurements of angular rotation in never-before-seen detail, yielding new insights into drillstring dynamics and drilling management.

• Welltec® Annular Barrier (WAB®) by Welltec

The Welltec® Annular Barrier (WAB®) is an expandable, metal annular barrier engineered and qualified to replace cement in well construction. It’s rugged design, qualified to ISO V0 meeting regulatory standards, has been utilized as a cementless, primary well barrier to prevent surface annular pressure over the life of the well.

• WiSub Maelstrom™ Pinless Subsea Wet-Mate Connector by WiSub

WiSub’s innovative subsea connector system eliminates the pins from subsea wet-mate connectors with a solution based on solid-state electronics, providing increased mating cycles, reduced operational cost and increased reliability of subsea connections. The Maelstrom connector applies inductive coupling for power transfer and patented microwave communication methods for 100Mbps data rates.

The conference’s focus on bridging technology was also exemplified by the “Pumps and Pipes: Innovation in the Oil Field and Cardiovascular Medicine” technical session. Leaders from two of Houston’s major industries - medicine and oil and gas - discussed advances that could be shared to add value, reduce risk and improve efficiencies.

Safety also continued to be a key area of focus at OTC. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced the launch of the SafeOCS program, an initiative aimed at collecting and analyzing “near miss” data to learn more about potential problems offshore and prevent them from becoming an issue. In addition, BSEE released its first-ever Annual Report, which presented the agency’s analysis of offshore activities and revealed an encouraging decline in incidents since the organization was created in 2011. The Center for Offshore Safety hosted a breakfast session focused on “Improving Safety and Environmental Performance.” In addition, a technical session and lunch discussed ways to improve the effectiveness of safety and environmental management systems. [foto: Speakers during the luncheon with the Center for Offshore Safety - Improving Effectiveness of Safety and Environmental Management Systems]

Additional highlights included discussions about the continued importance of deepwater exploration and the next emerging offshore plays. A panel session from the International Oil and Gas Producers shared thoughts about the need to simplify and standardize specifications to drive down costs and quicken the development of new projects as well as further improve safety.

The Pioneers of OTC Luncheon celebrated the long history and success of the conference and paid homage to the volunteers who have given their time and hard work throughout the years to make the conference what it is today.

OTC’s Energy Education Institute was attended by 200-plus Houston-area classroom teachers and 200-plus students. Teachers learned about scientific concepts of energy and its importance in a fun and informative way. Participating students saw firsthand the exciting opportunities the energy industry can offer.

Individuals seeking career advice or new opportunities were invited to participate in OTC’s Open Access Day, which provided free registration to 1,300 attendees seeking to tap into the conference’s networking opportunities. As part of the day’s programming, attendees learned how to build valuable relationships and sharpen their skills through two professional development sessions.

OTC also hosted The Rice Alliance Startup Roundup. At the new event, 50 emerging companies had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors. It offered a great opportunity for OTC attendees to learn more about these startups and enable potential partnerships and investments. The Next Wave, OTC’s program for young professionals, was attended by nearly 500 people and focused on how to face the challenges ahead for young professionals while recognizing the increased interconnectivity of our global industry.

The fifth Annual OTC Dinner raised USD 250,000 for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) Energy Education Center for the benefit of the Energy Institute High School. During the dinner, OTC presented its 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award to Elmer Peter Danenberger for his significant contributions to offshore safety and environmental protection. The Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations and Institutions was presented to Petrobras for its pre-salt development; while Ray Ayers, PhD, PE was honoured with the OTC Heritage Award in recognition of his 50+ years in offshore research and development.

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