Smith Market Blog

Electronic Component Risk Management for Offshore Exploration and Production


The annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) will take place next week, April 30 – May 3, in Houston, TX.  Always a well-attended and vibrant conference, OTC's 2012 technical series takes an important retrospective and prospective look at the lessons learned and improvements made from last year as well as presenting exciting new technical, technological, and process advances for the offshore exploration and production (E&P) sector, among other essential topics. In the aftermath of events such as the BP offshore spill among other offshore accidents globally, there has been much learned and many advances made in critical preventative work, risk management tools and guidelines, and spill response capabilities and tools.

Among the essential elements of offshore risk management is, of course, the specialized and very intensive testing for downhole tools, as discussed in this MarketWatch Quarterly article both for exploration and production situations. Faulty tools are simply unacceptable in deep drilling environments with immense pressure, vibration, temperature, and other requirements for performance. It is imperative that tools and electronics onboard these downhole tools (as discussed here in MarketWatch Commentary) be properly tested at the same ruggedized standards, meaning that electronics suppliers must be able to provide these specialized testing capabilities to ensure that onboard electronic components do not fail under the extreme environment and use situations required of them.

Risk management for offshore E&P tools both downhole and at surface stations depends on reliable and verified components tested by suppliers who understand the requirements.  Smith & Associates has long been a trusted, experienced partner for the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry and has kept pace with the evolution of the specialized, highly rugged electronic components used in today's tools, as well as supplying hard-to-source and end of life (EOL) components for O&G electronics.

Smith will showcase its SmithSecure Framework at OTC next week, which fuses real-world expertise with industry best practices to provide services, including: counterfeit detection, visual inspection for quality and reliability, vendor screening and internal training.

As a partner to oil and gas customers, Smith & Associates:

  • Provides downhole sourcing support for control boards, ruggedized electronics, directional drilling systems, and instrumentation
  • Keeps abreast of the latest price and supply trends in the open market worldwide
  • Identifies the optimal times to make cost-saving high volume purchases 
  • Manages stock and liquidates excess inventory as surpluses develop
  • Manages component acquisition for service and warranty programs, ensuring cost savings and adequate supply on high-value and end-of-life components
  • Assists with research and procurement of parts compliant with various environmental regulations emerging worldwide, including the European Union's RoHS legislation
  • Develops innovative programs to address emerging needs of oil and gas industry
  • Assures quality through SmithSecure – its product and service quality framework, which includes extensive in-house testing capabilities

Smith's trading professionals and oil and gas sourcing specialists will be available to answer questions throughout the show at Smith’s booth number 6404. For more information on Smith’s presence at OTC 2012, see the webpage here (

Next week we will be posting in this MarketWatch Commentary section as well as tweeting from the OTC floor.  Check back next week to learn more from OTC 2012!

Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D.
Written on Friday, 27 April 2012 10:55 by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D.

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