Gathering the elite in oil and gas

For four days this spring, Houston will host the world’s most influential exhibition in the energy industry, as the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) prepares to launch the celebrations for its 50th anniversary

The 2018 edition of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is promising to be a lot more special for both organisers and attendees, than any of the previous editions of the world’s largest event for the oil and gas sector. The OTC is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, but the actual festivities are set to begin at this year’s conference. NRG Park in Houston will open its doors for some 2000 exhibitors from all over the world between 30 April and 3 May, for a convention where the most prominent energy professionals will meet to exchange ideas and share their experience, in order to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. Founded in 1969 by 12 engineering and scientific organisations as a response to the growing technological needs of the global ocean extraction and environmental protection industries, the OTC has grown into Houston’s largest convention, also becoming one of the ten largest trade shows in the USA in terms of attendance.

This year’s conference will be marked by its impending half century anniversary, as the event will kick off with an opening ceremony commemorating OTC’s jubilee on the first day of the exhibition, Monday 30 April, at 09:30. Within an hour and a half, industry executives will deliver keynote speeches, discussing the milestones the conference has achieved in the last 50 years, the offshore technology evolution during this time, and the innovations we can expect to power the sector in the next 50 years. The starstudded panel of speakers includes Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total; Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips; Clay Williams, Chairman and CEO of National Oilwell Varco; Halliburton’s President and CEO, Jeff Miller; Royal Dutch Shell’s Project and Technology Director, Harry Brekelmans; and Solange da Silva Guedes, who is the Chief Exploration and Production Officer of Petrobras.

“For 50 years, OTC has encouraged scientists and engineers to develop innovative technologies that have unleashed the potential of offshore energy sources needed for global growth and progress,” Patrick Pouyanné enthuses, heartily inviting his colleagues from all over the world to take part in the momentous occasion for the conference. OTC’s Chairman, Wafik Beydoun adds: “Thanks to our industry partners and the city of Houston, there are few annual events that match OTC’s legacy, impact, and contributions. I can feel a sense of euphoria and pride among staff, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, and partner organisations ahead of this year’s event, as we prepare to celebrate its tremendous legacy.”

Mr. Beydoun will host the Chairman’s Panel on Energy Transformation in the second key event of the opening day. Scheduled for 14:30, it will assemble cross-industry executives from the oil and gas, automotive, and renewable energy sectors, who will share their outlook and strategy for the transition these industries need to make from hydrocarbons to renewables. The discussion will be moderated by the former United States Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and speeches will be made by the Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Carlos Ghosn; Eldar Saetre, President and CEO of Statoil; and Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV GL.

Alongside the celebratory spirit that will reign during the four days of OTC 2018, other highlights of the technical programme will include talks on how new technologies can be deployed quicker, in an attempt to shorten development timelines, as well as discussions of how cost-reducing tools and techniques can be introduced, so that overall value is improved. Furthermore, industry leaders will shed light on the world-class projects they are currently working on, the progress they have made, and how their efforts have resulted in breakthrough technologies. Executives from international and national oil companies alike, will provide examples of accomplishments from ventures in Canada, Malaysia, the Gulf of Mexico, and the North Sea.

Like every year, there will be time slots during the first two days of the event for a few awards to be presented to distinguished professionals and companies. First, the OTC will recognise innovative technologies with its Spotlight on New Technology® award. The programme is exclusively for OTC exhibitors and showcases the latest and most advanced technologies that are leading the industry into the future. The ceremony will take place between 16:00 and 17:00 on Monday, 30 April, with the winners including Aegion Coating Services, producer of ACS™ HT-200; Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), producer of TerrAdapt™ adaptive drill bit; Dril-Quip Inc., producer of HFRe™ – Hands Free Marine Drilling Riser System; Halliburton, producer of 9½-inch Azimuthal Lithodensity (ALD™) LWD Service; and Oceaneering International, Inc., producer of E-ROV System.

On the next day, the OTC will hold its Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon between 12:00 and 14:00. Believed to be one of the highlights of every edition of the exhibition, it not only recognises successful individuals and institutions, but also raises funds for noble causes, and provides a rare opportunity for industry executives and leaders to network with cream of the crop colleagues from around the world.

The recipients of this year’s awards were announced in early February. Recognised for individual achievement will be Brian Skeeles, who has excelled in pioneering new subsea completions in record water depths, and in the development of new tieback connections that have set and redefined industry standards. In the institutions’ category, it will be Shell and SBM Offshore that will be presented with the OTC award. Together, they have successfully developed the world’s deepest oil and gas project, the Stones field, whilst effectively meeting high health and safety standards. Cesar Del Vecchio will be honoured with the OTC Heritage Award for his contribution to the safe and economic development of deep water floating systems, by establishing, proving, and gaining worldwide acceptance for the use of polyester mooring systems, and Tom Sifferman will be acknowledged with a Special Citation, based on his significant input to the advancement of production enhancement, complex rheology mitigation, and chemical flow assurance of difficult-to-handle reservoir fluids.

Boasting a technical programme that includes over 350 peer-selected presentations, OTC 2018 will gather over 70,000 industry professionals from more than 120 countries, who will be granted the opportunity to get familiar with all that is new and trending in their specialty, while also benefitting from the immense networking potential, generated by the convention. With an air of sentimentality brought about by its upcoming 50th anniversary, this year’s OTC is an event no one would want to miss.

OTC 2018
Venue: NRG Park, Houston, TX
Dates: 30 April – 3 May 2018
Exhibition hours:
Monday 30 April 09:00 – 17:30
Tuesday 1 May 09:00 – 17:30
Wednesday 2 May 09:00 – 17:30
Thursday 3 May 09:00 – 14:00