The Offshore Technology Conference 2014 (OTC 2014) has closed and what a week this was, with record attendance of 108,300 people and 2,568 companies here in Houston, TX at the 45th annual meeting. The amount of shared ideas, research, innovative technology, services and solution ideas are only just sinking in as the attendees head for the airports and the exhibitors pack up booths. But as OTC 2014 closed yesterday, we were treated to exciting new ideas for 2015: "d5 – The Next Big Thing." The importance of d5 for the semiconductor and technology industry is the opportunity for dedicated, focused events and discussions to promote collaborations and designs that will support O&G solutions from equipment to software and all points in between.
Innovation and inspiration propel O&G solutions
We know that every industry benefits from the interactions and inspirations from what other industries have learned and implemented, O&G is no different. Next year, the opportunity for the best and the brightest minds across industries (notably technology is high on the list) so that new innovations will truly bring O&G to the next level of progress and solutions that will help to meet the growing demand by improving methods, operations, efficiencies and, of course, continue to improve safety and lessened environmental impacts. The advantages from more electronic solutions are at the frontline because the ability to capture real-time data and make decisions about downhole events as well as improve analyses for long-term business planning of sites and field strategies has been advanced by Big Data sets.
Big Data has revolutionized every industry and scientific capability for understanding – O&G is still experiencing the advantages of increased data collection and analyses to improve our understanding of the geomorphology of drill sites as well as improve operations and safety in real-time. These real-time decisions improve conditions for people and the environment, improve recovery and yield improved control margins and safer decommissioning solutions.
At the heart of these solution are the new technologies that have propelled solutions in O&G to date. OTC 2014 hosted a number of exciting technical sessions, covering many topics to advance technologies and engineering solutions for subsea, ultradeepwater, unconventional resources, and constantly enriching visualization capabilities for improved performance and monitoring during drilling and production. One example of the types of visionary tech advances that were exhibited this year is Schlumberger's new platform for offshore exploration, The Wave Glider. The new technology is a prime example of the advantages of interdisciplinary design taking concepts and technological capabilities from multiple industries to enable remote monitoring solutions that are not costly but still collect the data needed to develop complex models and make high-value well decisions. Not only is the technology and networking complex for these use cases, but the material engineering considerations pose challenges due to the rugged, harsh environments for tools necessitating innovative solutions for the delicate, high-tech components placed in downhole environments.
Smart well innovations
The smart well is here, with improved drilling, logging, monitoring and related safety data being sent to field and major hub sites for real-time data analyses and the ability to take action before critical situations begin to arise. The smart well is today and tomorrow's well, not only to improve drilling capabilities as geomorphologies can present complex S or J profiles, but also because the ability to capture and use Big Data is improving all aspects of business – from margins to safety, from regulatory reporting to complicated extraction methods. While the mechanics of the drill heads and tools themselves are improving, so is the high tech component count onboard. Remote, real-time guidance has on- and offshore applications that are improving all aspects of E&P. The most exciting aspect is the integration of services and solutions that are pushing the industry forward and addressing reliability, safety, and cost issues that have always been at the front lines for O&G.
The next phase of O&G is intelligent or smart well solutions that encompass software, hardware, and the unique, ruggedized tools that are the hallmark of the industry. What has been so exciting this year at OTC 2014 is the number of solutions and integrated solutions that utilize the leaps high tech has made to address the real problems found in E&P use cases. Like the automotive industry where semiconductor and electronics content coupled with critical, dedicated software solutions has rapidly increased in content in any given vehicle, we are seeing similar advances and advantages to the increased use of high tech solutions across the board in O&G.
OTC 2014 is still spinning in our heads after a busy and amazing week, but the energy and momentum we saw for new and exciting solutions is only just beginning. Next year's d5 unveiling and special events are certain to contribute greatly to the smart field sites and intelligent well solutions for more sustainable results that are budding up in the thriving O&G industry.