The Annual OTC Conference Kicks Off Monday In Houston

Reliant Park
The buzz around Reliant Center is the annual Offshore Technology Conference, set to open a four day run starting on Monday. The event attracts thousands of visitors and exhibitors from around the world.

Technology is what fuels the excitement in the oil and gas industry.

Steve Balint, chairman of the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference, that begins on Monday, says the evolution of the oil and gas industry offshore has been going full throttle since 1969 — the first year of the conference.

"Now what you're seeing is we're moving into ultra deep water, than 10 thousand feet. Our distinguished achievement award this year is on the Perdido Project, which is producing in the Gulf of Mexico in more than 7,000 feet, and have a well that's almost 10,000 feet deep. It's amazing, you have to think of more than 2 miles of water stacked up on top of these wells."

Besides the broad and developing technology, Balint says the conference will also focus on safety.

Not only on protecting personal safety, and you can see equipment out there on the exhibit floor that's really dedicated to doing that, the safety of workers. But you'll also see in the technical sessions and in the equipment that's out there, a real focus on 'asset integrity,' that is thinking through the design aspects of things, to make sure that the technology is safe, and will protect the environment and those working with it."

Hernandez: "Was the Horizon incident ... I guess that was a double-edged sword?"

Balint: "It was a  tragic incident where we had loss of life. But we've learned some things from that, and that's what we can do is build on what we've learned, to work to prevent that from ever happening again."

The OTC will attract more than 70,000 oil and gas professionals from more than a 100 countries.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...