2017 Offshore Technology Conference Continues to Drive Innovation
Houston, Texas, USA (4 May 2017) – Offshore energy industry experts and leaders from across the world came together at NRG Park in Houston 1–4 May for the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
As it has since 1969, the 49th edition of the conference convened professionals from more than 100 countries to make critical decisions, share ideas, and develop business partnerships to meet global energy demands. In addition, OTC directly benefitted the advancement of the energy sector, by supporting the conference’s 13 not-for-profit sponsoring organizations and the Houston community.
OTC 2017 featured nearly 350 technical papers, 44 technical sessions, 13 panels, multiple poster sessions, and 24 topical breakfasts and luncheons. The sessions focused on subjects such as how deepwater projects can compete with shale developments, automation’s role in increasing on-site safety, and new ways to utilize AUV technology. Speakers, including representatives from key U.S. agencies, international energy ministries and company executives, addressed a wide variety of pressing issues, including Brazil’s reformed energy regulation system and progress on the Moho Nord deepwater field.
“The energy industry is continuing to be transformed by the technological revolution taking place, and downturns tend to be the ultimate driver of the type of innovation that is often launched or showcased at OTC. Today, OTC is more important than ever as a venue for the type of learning and idea sharing necessary to propel greater efficiencies and safety,” said Joe Fowler, OTC 2017 chairman. “Thanks to the hard work of the OTC staff and volunteers, the conference once again upheld its commitment and delivered an unparalleled amount of information on new technologies as well as global developments to its attendees.”
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order on Monday directing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to issue a new five-year plan for development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Zinke also spoke in a technical session titled, "Offshore Energy Policies: Harnessing the Full Potential of America's Offshore," and later toured the exhibition floor.
OTC’s Spotlight on New Technology Awards recognized 17 technologies from exhibiting companies for their new and innovative products and services, including two companies who won the Small Business Award.
OTC also launched an expanded version of its Women in the Industry Sharing Experiences (WISE) event. Previously a two-hour networking session, it was elevated to a half-day program to include three sessions where men and women discussed how diversity enhances the industry. Speakers and roundtable discussions focused on the value of a diverse environment, communicating across disciplines and leadership styles.
OTC’s annual The Next Wave program, “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders in Oil and Gas: Strategies and Ideas to Excel in the Present Day Climate,” helped young industry professionals with open communication between the generations. Attendees were able to share, learn, and network with their peers.
Exemplifying OTC’s commitment to energy education, 10 teams of local high school students participated in a new OTC Energy Challenge where they were asked to solve real-world energy challenges. This event joined programs such as the Energy Education Institute, a daylong workshop for teachers of grades 4–12, and a STEM Event for high school students.
OTC also hosted a networking event for individuals seeking to jumpstart or restart their careers. It encompassed a panel and roundtable discussions and provided attendees with resume building and interview tips.
Additionally, for the third year, OTC hosted The Rice Alliance Startup Roundup, attended by 48 emerging companies which met one-on-one with investors, allowing OTC attendees to learn more about these startups and enabling potential partnerships and investments.
The Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon raised USD 200,000 for its beneficiary, Oilfield Helping Hands. During the luncheon, OTC presented its 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals to John Bomba for 60-plus years of far-reaching contributions to the offshore sector. The Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations and Institutions was presented to LLOG Exploration Offshore, LLC in recognition of their outstanding work on the Delta House project. OTC’s Heritage Award was presented to George Conner for championing the safe development of new technologies in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, Art Schroeder received a Special Citation for his contributions to the industry and OTC.
More than 64,700 attendees gathered at the annual conference. 78 percent of attendees were domestic and 22 percent were international.
The exhibition floor covered 599,295 sq. ft., including outdoor exhibits. This year’s conference also had 2,470 companies exhibiting. These exhibitors represented 43 countries. Additionally, nearly 267 were new exhibitors, and international companies made up 50 percent of exhibitors.