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OTC 2013: What We Saw and Why it Matters



Hosting more than 90,000 oil, gas, and energy professionals from more than 110 countries, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is, as always, the premiere event for the thriving energy industry. Held annually in Houston, arguably the world's energy capital, OTC gives companies large and small the chance to network, do business, and check out the newest and most innovative tools and technology the industry has to offer.

Technology's increased role in the industry

As mentioned in yesterday's blog post, technological advances such as 4-dimensional (4-D) data visualizations of seismic data have helped the exploration and production (E&P) industry achieve great success over the past year. Allowing E&P professionals to more quickly and efficiently identify successful oil sites, 4-D data visualizations have also helped E&P companies accelerate production, maximize downhole time, and improve recovery rates.

An example of new and innovative marine technology, the Onboard DC-Grid, was on display at OTC. Developed by ABB, this system allows offshore vessels to transport direct current (DC) energy to various energy-consuming products throughout the ship. Much more efficient than traditional AC distribution systems, the Onboard DC-Grid allows for variable speed operation of generator sets, significantly reduced fuel oil consumption, improved emission reduction, reduced maintenance, and new operational modes with a more responsive vessel system.

Increased focus on China's energy needs

There were more Chinese companies than ever before this year. Obviously, with a soaring demand for energy in China, both Chinese and international companies are looking for new and innovative ways to maintain and increase oil and gas production in the country. One option companies are considering is development in the eastern South China Sea, which boasts water depths between 340m and 404m. A tension-leg platform (TLP) with full drilling capacity is currently being considered as one possible development concept, while the other option, a semi-submersible unit, is also being considered. If the TLP is chosen as the potential oil-producing platform, it will be the country's first-ever deepwater floating production platform.

Final impressions

As always, the Offshore Technology Conference is a showcase of technological innovation, expert insight and expertise, and enthusiastic professionals eager to keep the oil, gas, and energy industry moving forward. Increasingly, it is also a reflection of the vital role that electronics are playing in exploration and production. Pipes and valves will always be necessary to produce oil and gas, but electronics-enabled data analysis, testing, and measurement are critical to the future growth of the industry.

Dan Blatter
Written on Friday, 10 May 2013 09:04 by Dan Blatter

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