ST Conference PreviewOffshore Technology Conference 2011
As the world’s largest event for the development of offshore exploration and production resources, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is known by the oil and gas industry as a major event to introduce new technology. The indoor exhibition area is sold out, and an expanded outdoor area is planned for this year’s event, which is scheduled May 2 through 5 at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas.
OTC, a scientific and technical conference for industry professionals sponsored by 12 professional societies in the offshore exploration and production industry, started in 1969, and the first conference drew 4,200 attendees and 200 exhibitors. By 2010, attendance had grown to more than 72,900 attendees from more than 120 countries. Geoscientists and engineers, managers and executives, professors and university students, consultants and purchasing agents are among those who attend OTC for the exhibit and the conference, the organizers said.
OTC Addresses Technology and Global Issues
The 2011 conference will focus on “Diversity in Energy, People and Resources,” presenting a wide range of topics such as projects, management and health, safety and environment. In addition to 300 technical presentations, OTC offers panel sessions where industry leaders discuss current challenges and future directions, as well as special presentations at industry breakfasts and topical lunches.
This year, the highest profile will be given to sessions on the impacts of the Macondo oil spill on oil and gas developments in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In the post-spill regime, there is a new era of government regulation and oversight, as well as evolving impacts, according to the organizers. Several panels of experts and high-level government officials will address issues related to risk, drilling safety, energy development and spill response for future oil and gas developments.
OTC 2011 also will discuss major projects and the management of large projects around the world. In addition, new topics that have not been recently presented at OTC will include enhanced oil recovery, marine archaeology, deployment of subsea equipment, welding, computational fluid dynamics and shale gas developments. OTC technical sessions will also highlight new developments in wind energy and carbon sequestration, and a panel of experts will address the advances and limitations to all of the leading alternative energy sources. This year’s invited organization is the American Meteorological Society.
Latest Technology in Exhibition
With more than 2,400 exhibitors, OTC ranks among the largest annual trade shows in the U.S., and organizers said attendees spend an average of eight hours on the exhibit floor. In addition to the individual companies exhibiting at OTC, whole countries sponsor exhibits.
The exhibition will be held in Reliant Center and Reliant Arena, as well as in an expanded outdoor exhibits area called the “OTC Parkway.” Shuttle service will be provided between Reliant Center and Reliant Arena.
“This is an amazingly high-tech industry that creates technology that can end up in a NASA space vehicle,” Susan Cunningham, 2011 OTC chairperson, said. “Incredible technology is required to drill miles under the ocean, which has been compared technologically to putting a man on the moon.
“OTC has become such an important event for the industry. This year, we continue to innovate and offer even more for attendees. Participants will see new products and technology that can improve their results and also can gain a greater understanding of issues facing the industry.”
OTC presents awards for innovative technology that has wide applications for the industry through its “Spotlight on New Technology” program. The Spotlight awards are being presented to companies for technology that is new and innovative, proven, of broad interest and which has a significant impact. The awards ceremony is at 4 p.m. on May 2. Details about the winners are available on the OTC website.
OTC will also present its Distinguished Achievement Awards at a new event, the OTC Dinner. The Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals will go to Cortis “Cort” Cooper, of Chevron Corp. (San Ramon, California), for his pioneering work in metocean research and his leadership of joint industry efforts to address oceanographic challenges, the conference organizers said. The Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations or Institutions will go to BP Norway (Stavanger, Norway) for the life of field seismic reservoir surveillance project. The conference will also issue a special citation to ExxonMobil Development Co. (Houston, Texas) for the “Design One, Build Multiple” philosophy to deliver major deepwater projects in Angola’s Block 15.
The new OTC Dinner at the George R. Brown Convention Center will not only recognize the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award recipients, but also raise funds for charity and provide an opportunity for industry leaders to network with colleagues from around the world. This will replace the awards luncheon that had traditionally been held on Tuesday. Tickets are $125.
OTC Reaches the Next Generation
OTC offers special sessions for oil and gas professionals ages 35 and younger to help them build their technical and leadership skills, the organizers said. OTC also offers an education day on May 5 providing 200 high school students an opportunity to see the technology displayed at OTC. The OTC Energy Education Institute provides an all-day workshop on May 5 for 100 Houston-area science teachers of grades four through 12 on how to get energy topics into their classroom.
Technical Program Highlights
The latest schedule for each day’s technical program is available on the conference website. Also listed are descriptions of topics and leading industry experts speaking at panel discussions, breakfast sessions and topical luncheons. Tickets to the breakfast sessions are $40, and the topical luncheons cost $50.
Register for the conference and purchase tickets for special events at www.otcnet.org/2011.