In February, TotalEnergies announced a significant light oil discovery in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia. Reuters reported a source suggesting that the Venus-X1 well may have found more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
This was the second significant discovery announced in the basin that month, after Shell’s Graff-1 well showed “encouraging results,” according to Reuters.
The offshore continues to deliver new oil and natural gas discoveries worldwide. And as this issue hits your inbox, the offshore is the primary topic of discussion in Houston as the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference returns to NRG Park from May 2-5.
Drawing attendees and vendors from across the globe, OTC returns to its usual time slot in the first week of May for the first time since COVID.
And it’s good to be back. The exhibition at OTC featuring more than 2,000 vendors of both products and services is spread over more than 500,000 square feet. This is the place to find the latest technology developments, hardware, services and other innovations to find and develop offshore energy resources.
This year, OTC features an energy transition pavilion for those companies who are positioning themselves to serve oil, gas and energy companies who are either shifting or expanding their activities to support decarbonization and renewable energy projects. There will be a dedicated theater featuring technology and strategies offered by vendors, including Schlumberger, Technip Energies and Nabors.
“The technologies presented, exhibited and shared at OTC are at the heart of the world’s efforts to help us reach our decarbonization goals,” said OTC Board chair Paul Johnson.
AAPG-Sponsored Technical Sessions
Another important feature of OTC is the technical program, with technical talk spanning the breadth and depth of topics related to the offshore. AAPG’s efforts in this regard are coordinated by the AAPG technical program subcommittee headed by chair Kim Faulk of Geoscience Earth and Marine Services and vice-chair Huyen Bui of Shell.
Leading a dedicated group of volunteers, with an able assist from Dr. Susan Nash, AAPG’s director of innovation and emerging science/technology, Faulk and Bui work with other partner societies’ technical program subcommittees to develop the conference program.
This year, over the course of four days, AAPG is sponsoring or co-sponsoring a wide variety of technical sessions:
- Offshore Operational Successes: Surveillance, Interpretation, Innovation and Risk Reduction
- Sustainability and Energy Transition: The Road to Net Zero
- HPHT and Geothermal Systems: Technology Exchange and Energy Transition
- Reducing Offshore Hazards: Assessment, Automated Detection and Risk Management
- Geoscience for the Energy Transition and Supporting Innovation
- Integrating Geosciences, Workflow and Data Analyses for Effective Reservoir Management
- Carbonate Play Characterization and Analysis Techniques
- Geoscience Innovations and Case Studies
- Science, Innovation and Cutting-Edge Technology for Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)
- Tackling Mature Field Challenges, Rejuvenation and Decommissioning
Identifying and recognizing breakthrough technology and leadership is another important activity at OTC.
- The Spotlight on New Technology Award is restricted to OTC exhibitors and highlights advances in either hardware or software technologies. This year there are 14 companies being recognized, and half of them are small businesses.
- OTC will also recognize Drew Michel with its Distinguished Achievement Award for individuals for his “pioneering work on improving diver safety, the development and advancement of commercial Remotely Operated Vehicles and encouraging the next generation to study science and math and pursue careers in marine technology.”
- Shell’s Appomattox Project in the Gulf of Mexico receives OTC’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institutions. The project is “Shell’s largest and most complex deepwater megaproject to date.”
- The OTC Heritage Award this year goes to Roland Moreau “for his leadership in advocating for the gathering and analyzing of safety data and sharing learnings from operations in the Gulf of Mexico to improve industry safety.”
- Each year, OTC recognizes Emerging Leaders and in 2022 welcomes 15 young professionals with fewer than 10 years of experience in the offshore energy sector. AAPG’s own Lauren Ray of ExxonMobil was one of the YPs selected for this honor.
We Are OTC
Producing oil and natural gas is a multidisciplinary effort, and that is amplified when operating in an offshore environment. It’s why OTC has 13 sponsoring organizations, from across the disciplines, to develop and deliver this important event for our industry, including:
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers
- American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
- Marine Technology Society
- Society of Exploration Geophysicists
- Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society
- Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society
- Brazilian Institute for Oil, Gas and Biofuels
One little known fact is that these sponsoring organizations own OTC and the profits of this marquee event go back to these non-profit organizations to further support their missions. OTC is led by a Board of Directors comprised of representatives from these sponsoring organizations, and I’d like to welcome James “Jamie” Allen to his first OTC as a board member replacing Cindy Yeilding.
We owe sincere thanks to Cindy for her years of service to OTC and we’re grateful for Jamie’s willingness and desire to serve in this capacity. Thank you both!
I’m off now to explore the exhibition. I hope you’ll join me here at OTC – stop by the AAPG booth and say hi.