AP NEWS

OTC Notebook: Heartbreak on the exhibition floor

May 9, 2019

The most popular exhibits Tuesday and Wednesday at OTC were the neighboring booths of Dutch offshore vessel firms Bluewater and Boskalis.

Hundreds of people swarmed each day, drinking Heinekens and cheering while watching the soccer Champions League semifinals on big-screen televisions.

“Just out of the blue we thought let’s show it, and it was a huge success,” said Enk Meyers, Bluewater’s business development manager. “It’s a totally different way of networking. It was an unexpected advantage.”

Apart from Dutch and British fans, international soccer fans came to the booths to watch and party from all countries - from Nigeria to Brazil to China. On Tuesday, Liverpool scored a shocking upset over Barcelona and the world’s greatest player, Lionel Messi, and, on Wednesday, in the final minute Tottenham defeated the Dutch club Ajax with a dramatic goal in extra time, setting up an all-England final and triggering heartbreak for much of the contingent from the Netherlands.

“It was a disappointing finish,” said Bluewater Chief Executive Hugo Heerema. “But the big crowd was icing on the cake of a great OTC. We’re very bullish.”

— Jordan Blum

A view from 40,000 feet below

Imagine flying on an airplane and looking down at a meandering river 40,000 feet below. Now imagine if you could get that same perspective but 40,000 feet below the earth’s surface. That’s the potential of a new cloud-based software under development by the service and engineering company Emerson in partnership with the Spanish oil producer Repsol.

Emerson and Repsol recently launched a new partnership to take a software that was 12-years in the making to a bigger commercialized level. Repsol, which has drilled in complex deep water such as off the coast of Brazil, is bringing its offshore deepwater experience to the partnership. Meanwhile Emerson, which recently acquired the Houston software company Paradigm and is now the largest provider of oil exploration and production , is bringing a team of engineers to home in on advanced digital imaging technologies.

Called Kaleidoscope, the software allows offshore drillers to use 3-D and 4-D imaging to identify where water channels, salt formations and oil reservoirs lurk tens of thousands of feet below the ocean floor. The goal is to drastically reduce the time it takes to find a prospect or get to first oil by more accurately predicting underground conditions and by slashing the time it takes to interpret seismic data.

Currently, it takes two years for companies to sort through the wealth of seismic data collected near a potential offshore drilling location. Duane Dopkin, Emerson vice president, said eventually the companies want to the cut that time in half.

— Marissa Luck

Man of the cloth

Stress Engineering Services, a Houston company that provides engineering services to the oil industry, wants to be memorable and like a lot of companies, it has some booth giveaways. But it wanted its freebies — known by some as swag — to be useful, something that convention goers would put into their pockets or purses and actually use.

And each time, of course, see the Stress Engineering name and logo.

Pens are good — the company has a big supply on a table at its booth — along with a bowl of individually wrapped candy. But the big draw were cloth cleaners with the company logo, a necessity for those who need to clean their glasses, smart phones and computer monitors. In other words, pretty much everyone.

R. Alan Carlock, corporate marketing director, figures a lot of people collect convention swag to take home and give it to their kids. “But they hold on to these things,” said Carlock, pointing to the glass cleaners individually wrapped in plastic pouches.

— L.M. Sixel

A century later

One hundred years of history are on display on a mural at Halliburton’s booth at the Offshore Technology Conference.

Founded in 1919, the Houston oilfield service company performed its first offshore cementing job in 1947 at a rig in the Gulf of Mexico’s Creole Field.

More than seven decades later, offshore still accounts for a significant percentage of the company’s $5.94 billion in annual revenue.

Entitled “Inspired by the Past, Leading into the Future,” the 20-foot tall mural at the booth depicts Halliburton’s history visually.

The mural depicts founder Erle P. Halliburton overlooking key moments in the company’s history from its first truck. A female oilfield worker in the lower left corner is a nod to the future, gender equality in the male-dominated field and uniforms that the company made specifically for women.

— Sergio Chapa

How to tell the good guys

Drilex is a Texas company, And the company that makes engines for down-hole motors wants everyone to know it.

Booth representatives spent the week at OTC wearing white cowboy hats to reinforce their Lone Star roots — the company is based in Tomball — and add some Texas mystique for visitors drawn to the Texas myth. Drilex president B.L Perez said the white hats helped build booth traffic this week.

One of his colleagues thought of the idea, he said, and everyone was asked to buy their own hat, and expense it, or pull one out of their rodeo wardrobe like Perez did with his white palm weave.

“It’s an international show,” said Perez. “Why not represent Houston and why not represent Texas?”

— L.M. Sixel