OTC Offers Top Forum for Ideas To Help Industry Move Forward

Panels, such as this session from last year’s conference, provide a forum for the global exchange of ideas to help the industry move forward.

With the outlook for the oil and gas industry very much unsettled, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to be held 2–5 May at NRG Park in Houston will offer global energy professionals a world-leading forum for exchanging ideas and opinions and obtaining the in-depth knowledge of scientific and technological advances and innovations that will help the industry meet today’s challenges and find the best path forward.

One of the largest oil and gas industry conferences in the world, OTC last year drew an attendance of more than 94,700. In addition to the technical and topical sessions, the conference hosts an expansive exhibition of technology, equipment, and services. OTC is expecting more than 2,570 exhibiting companies and organizations representing 47 countries.

OTC Awards Luncheon

At the OTC Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, the conference will recognize Robert (Don) Vardeman of Anadarko for individual achievement, the Marine Technology Society Dynamic Positioning (DP) Committee for institutional achievement, and George Hirasaki and Yuri Makogon with the OTC Heritage Award.

Vardeman will receive the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals for his significant leadership and extensive contributions to global deepwater developments. He is vice president of worldwide project management for Anadarko, which has sizable operations in the onshore United States, Algeria, Mozambique, West Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico. Vardeman was elected last year to the Offshore Energy Center’s Pioneer Hall of Fame. He is a member of Texas A&M University’s Engineering Advisory Council and has served as the chairman of the OTC Board of Directors.

The Marine Technology Society DP Committee will receive the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Institutions for its work in facilitating incident-free DP operations through the sharing of knowledge. Composed of dedicated volunteers, the committee conducts conferences and workshops for vessel owners, operators, marine class societies, engineers, and regulators. It shares extensive guidance documents related to DP and has developed a growing set of unique documents that address topics of significant interest and impact.

Hirasaki will be recognized for his extensive research on reservoir simulation, enhanced oil recovery, formation evaluation, well logging, and reservoir wettability. He had a 26-year career with Shell before joining the chemical engineering faculty at Rice University in 1993. An active member of the National Academy of Engineers, Hirasaki has received honors such as the Improved Oil Recovery Pioneer and Society of Core Analysts Technical Achievement awards.



Makogon will be recognized for his expert knowledge of gas hydrates and astute research scholarship on the water/gas phase behavior in the Earth’s stratum. He has discovered the existence of tremendous gas reserves in the hydrate form and expanded the knowledge of a number of important new physical gas hydrate properties. During nearly 6 decades, Makogon has authored 270 scientific papers, 29 patents, and eight books. He is also an artist and has created more than 20 paintings.


Technical Program

OTC received more than 1,000 abstracts for the technical program. Some highlights among the 45 sessions will be presentations on new technologies that are driving down topsides costs, the world’s first subsea compression facilities, alternative offshore gas monetization technologies, advances in offshore enhanced oil recovery, insights on human factors and organizational management, and integrated asset optimization for offshore fields.

Panel sessions are scheduled on a variety of industry topics. Monday morning will begin with a session hosted by Women in Industry Sharing Experiences (WISE), “From Sponsorship to Significance: Building Effective Support Systems in Today’s Energy Industry,” with panelists Martha Feeback of Catalyst, Ann Pickard of KBR, David Redeker of FORE the People Solutions, Jennifer Hartsock of Cameron, and Elohor Aiboni of Shell.

On Monday afternoon, there will be a session examining perspectives on international oil company investments in Brazil’s oil and gas business, moderated by Renato Bertani of Barra Energia, and a session on the energy outlook and future of innovations for deepwater in a cost-competitive environment with panelists Robert Armstrong of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative, Thomas Moroney of Shell, Olivier Le Peuch of Schlumberger, Derek Mathieson of Baker Hughes, and Kripa Varanasi of MIT.

On Tuesday, there will be two panel sessions on Mexican energy reform. In the morning, the session “Mexico’s Sweeping and Historic Energy Reform” will include panelists Carlos Morales Gil of PetroBal, Edgar Rangel of CNH, Alexander Rovirosa of Roma Energy Holdings, Timothy Duncan of Talos Energy, José Gonzalez-Anaya of Pemex, Christine Healy of Statoil, and Mexican Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

On Tuesday afternoon, the session “Mexico Energy Reform II: Changes to the Service Sector and First Look at New Deepwater Plays Seen in New Multi­client Exploration Data” will include panelists Sergio Aceves of DIAVAZ, Luis Escalante of FMC, Ian Cook of Weatherford, Michael Hiner of EMGS, Brian Horn of ION Geophysical, Mike Saunders of Spectrum Geo, and Brad Torry of TGS.

On Wednesday morning, a session on coping with lower oil prices, offering perspectives from industry leaders, will include panelists Pete Miller of Transocean, Lorenzo Simonelli of GE, and Wael Sawan of Shell.

On Wednesday afternoon, a session on energizing worldwide oil and gas developments will include panelists Martijn Dekker of Shell, Michael McEvilly of Hess, Mike Beattie of Anadarko, Bruce Laws of Maersk, Kassia Yanosek of McKinsey, and Deanna Goodwin of Technip.

On Thursday morning, a session on cybersecurity assurance (data and critical infrastructure protection) will include panelists Andrew Howard of Georgia Institute of Technology, Jeff Potter of Emerson Process Management, Jim Motes of Rockwell Automation, Srinivas Mukkamala of RiskSense, Jonathan Pollet of Red Tiger Security, and Roger Hill of Veracity Security Intelligence. A session hosted by the Center for Offshore Safety, “Improving Safety Through Industry Collaboration,” will include panelists Brad Smolen of BP, Rhett Winter of IADC, and Richard Benzie of IMCA.

On Thursday afternoon, the session “What’s Next for SEMS” will include panelists Sandra Fury of Chevron, Charles Duhon of Arena Offshore, and Peter Velez of Peter Velez Engineering.

Special Events

Topical Breakfasts—Numerous topical breakfasts are slated throughout the conference, including “5,000 Wells and Only 5 Separators: An Industry Perspective on Subsea Separation Future,” “Tools for Process Safety in Offshore and Upstream Operations,” “Deepwater Exploration and Development: Creating Value Has Rarely Been Tougher,” and “Offshore Safety Regulatory Collaboration and Oversight,” which is sponsored by the Center for Offshore Safety.

Industry Breakfasts—Starting on Tuesday, there will be an industry breakfast every morning, which will focus on the state of the industry in Egypt (Tuesday), Ireland (Wednesday), and Guyana (Thursday).

Topical Luncheons—Eleven topical luncheons will be held during OTC. The following is a list of the topics and speakers.

  • “WISE: Career GPS: Mapping Your Professional Future.” Speakers: Amanda Brock, Water Standard; Jody Markopoulos, GE Oil & Gas; and Myrtle Jones, Halliburton.
  • “Pre-Salt Brazil: Strategic Thinking with a Pragmatic Approach for a Massive Investment.” Speaker: Jorge Camargo, IBP.
  • “Major Capital Projects Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Is There a Need for Change?” Speaker: Mick Kraly, Chevron.
  • “Reinforcing Your Social License To Operate.” Speakers: Gerardo Uria and Jack Gerard, the American Petroleum Institute.
  • “The Search for MH-370: Survey Strategy and Technology.” Speaker: Edward Saade, Fugro.
  • “Bringing Mega Gas Discoveries to the Market.” Speaker: Muhammad Jusoh, Petronas.
  • “Gas Hydrate Exploration and Production Testing: Encouraging Results and Future Plans.” Speakers: Dan McConnell, Fugro; Norman Carnahan, Carnahan Corporation; Timothy Collett, US Geological Survey; Ray Boswell, US Department of Energy, and Pushpendra Kumar, Keshav Dev Malviya Institute of Petroleum Exploration, ONGC.
  • “Forging a World-leading Supply Chain.” Speaker: Harry Brekelmans, Royal Dutch Shell.
  • “Emerging Oil and Gas Developments Offshore Israel,” Speaker: Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources.
  • “Energy Institute High School.” Speakers: Caio Carugati, Matthew Diaz, Talon Logan, Timothy Chung, Gerardo Escobedo, Amber Farias, Shawn Attar, Thor Preimesberger, Austin Schneider, and Bobak Torabi, Energy Institute High School.
  • “Center for Offshore Safety Luncheon: Perspectives Regarding Safety and Safety Management from Senior Regulatory Leadership.” Speakers: Brian Salerno, US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; and Paul Thomas, US Coast Guard.

The Next Wave—A 1-day event for young professionals, The Next Wave will be held on Monday. The program “Thriving on Volatility: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions” will offer insight from oil and gas industry experts on the boom and bust cycle, advice on sharpening one’s soft and technical skills to remain relevant at work, ideas on what the next big thing in the industry will be, and thoughts on the way forward for young professionals in today’s environment.

Graham Hill, executive vice president for global business development and strategy at KBR, will give the keynote talk. Laura Guenther, founding director and consultant at the University of Texas McCombs School will moderate a panel that includes Rafael Jaramillo, president of systems and solutions at Emerson; Olivier Le Peuch, president of completions at Schlumberger; Starlee Sykes, vice president of global projects at BP; and Deanna Jones, vice president of human resources and administrative services at Marathon Oil. The Honorable Chase Untermeyer, former US Ambassador to Qatar, will give the closing address.

In addition to the panel program, there will be executive breakout sessions and smaller breakout discussions in which a variety of focused topics will be examined by peers and thought leaders together.

Teacher and Student Events—A group of 100 invited Houston-area teachers (of grades 4 through 12) will attend a free energy education workshop on Thursday. The participants will receive comprehensive, objective information about the scientific concepts of energy and its importance, while learning about oil and gas exploration and production. Following a keynote presentation, the teachers will take a technology tour of the OTC exhibition and then engage in hands-on classroom activities reflecting age-appropriate energy curricula.

In addition, 200 high school math and science students will participate in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics event on Thursday. The students will participate in hands-on energy exploration experiments provided by the US National Energy Education Development Project, meet industry professionals, and tour OTC technology exhibits in a scavenger hunt.

d5—On the day after OTC, d5 will bring together many of the brightest minds in exploration and production to listen to presentations and take part in discussions designed to inspire ideas and innovation and leave a lasting impact. To be held at Rice University in Houston, d5 will feature game-changing global innovators who will speak and lead group discussions that can spark creativity and help to identify the next big step for the energy industry through technology, leadership practices, and competitive advantages.

The event will expose attendees to disruptive technologies from other industries and help participants build unique connections and develop innovative solutions to apply to their business area. Thought-provoking presentations on diverse topics will focus on

  • Ideas: energy outlook, startups, competitive advantage, and winning strategies.
  • Innovation: game-changing capabilities, science, and big data.
  • Impact: motivation, sense of purpose, risks, and workplace culture.

OTC Offers Top Forum for Ideas To Help Industry Move Forward

Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor

01 April 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 4



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