Offshore energy industry experts and leaders gathered from across the world at NRG Park in Houston, Tex., from May 2-5 for the 2016 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). More than 68,000 attendees from 120 countries gathered, placing this year’s OTC among the top 15 highest attended in its 48-year history.
The exhibition floor was sold out before the conference and was the third largest in show history at 672,300 ft2 including outdoor exhibits. This year’s conference had more than 2,600 companies exhibiting. These exhibits represented 47 countries, up from last year’s 37. Additionally, nearly 300 were new exhibitors, and international companies made up 51% of exhibitors.
The event featured 11 panel sessions, 24 executive keynote presentations at luncheons and breakfasts, and more than 325 technical paper presentations. Speakers—including international 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.
Increasing efficiencies while ensuring safe operations was a key theme at the conference. Sessions covered new technology that not only reduces costs to the operator but also enhances the overall safety of the operations, cost-effective advances in well-cementing technologies, and use of RFID to precisely track drill pipe for enhanced safety and efficiency. OTC provided updates on new and emerging markets from around the world, most notably Mexico’s developments since the Energy Reform Bill became law.
The Spotlight on New Technology Awards recognized 13 technologies for their innovation in allowing the industry to produce offshore resources, including one company in the category of Small Business Awards. The University R&D Showcase featured projects from universities in the U.S., Germany, Nigeria, and Japan. Leading-edge projects included drones in a wave prediction system, coatings that improve drill bit efficiency, and recalibration of drilling data from all the major ocean basins. The conference’s Energy Education Institute was attended by 100 Houston-area classroom teachers and 200 students. Teachers learned about scientific concepts of energy and its importance in a fun and informative way.
The Open Access Day provided free registration to 737 attendees seeking to jumpstart or restart their careers. Attendees learned how to build valuable relationships and start their own businesses through two professional development sessions. The 50 emerging companies at the Rice Alliance Startup Roundup has the chance to meet one-on-one with investors.
The Next Wave, OTC’s program for young professionals, focused on how to face the challenges ahead while recognizing the increased interconnectivity of our global industry. The Distinguished Achieved Awards Luncheon raised US$200,000 for Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.
New to the conference this year were OTC’s training courses, organized by several OTC sponsoring organizations, and held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.
OTC 2017 takes place May 1-4, 2017 at NRG Park. For more information, visit www.otcnet.org.