The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Offshore Technology Conference: May 4-7

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 30, 2009

If you're into technology and mind-boggling engineering, you'll enjoy reading about our travels next week. A couple of us from API are going to Houston for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC)--the "must attend" offshore energy event where the advanced technologies used to explore for and produce oil and natural gas are put on display.

Want to see undersea robots that work at depths no human can withstand? Want to experience the hunt for oil and natural gas using computer models that project images of hidden energy resources in a 3D-kaleidoscope of color? Would you like to learn more about how Brazil became energy independent by finding huge oil deposits off its coastline? The OTC is the place to go.

This year's conference will begin with a panel discussion on how to improve communications about energy among consumers, universities, the government and the oil and natural gas industry. One of the featured speakers will be API's President and CEO Jack Gerard along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Other events will cover the difficulties of producing energy in the Arctic, drilling practices in Saudi Arabia and the growing importance of unconventional oil and natural gas--such as oil sands and coalbed methane--to the world's energy mix.

We're taking a few guests with us to the OTC, and they will have the opportunity to visit company facilities in and around the Houston area--meeting with company scientists, engineers and executives to experience firsthand the industry's cutting-edge technology at work--when they're not walking through the OTC exhibits.

The conference is huge. It occupies Houston's Reliant Center, Reliant Stadium, a pavilion built on site, and an outdoor exhibits area, totaling an area the equivalent of ten football fields. I hope our guests are planning to bring comfortable shoes.