Technology companies are supporting the energy industry to slake the rising demand for energy while keeping a focus on safety and costs.
At the recent Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), where 100,000 attendees from 2,728 companies gathered, the increasingly important role of technology in exploration and production (E&P) surfaced repeatedly in discussions, presentations, and displays.
The ability to improve site testing, provide well intervention, and perform down-hole sensing and monitoring presents big challenges, particularly in remote areas where pressure, temperature, and vibration are critical factors. Meeting demands for data gathering, transmission, and multisite collaboration requires significant support from traditional energy production supply chain along with the latest technology and electronics suppliers.
The four-day conference provided many options to improve or extend the capabilities of tools, systems, and various data collection opportunities, particularly for deepwater and multisite, remote projects.
Addressing subsea challenges has long been a hallmark of the conference's solution spotlights, and this year's 2013 Spotlight Award winners focused on safer means for deepsea drilling by using new types of pressurized equipment and designs that lessen both cost and risk of failure. Notable solutions included some of the latest ruggedized technology that provided new seismic guided drilling, four-dimensional (4D) data visualizations of seismic data, and improved pressure monitoring and refinement ahead of the drill-bit.
The ability to improve the economics, safety, and effectiveness of drilling events is central to developing E&P strategies, particularly as global demand spikes for energy are pushing companies to more quickly and successfully locate, extract, and maintain productive well-sites, often in extremely remote and deep sea locations. The complexities of multisite, remote drilling locations are being met by the on-board electronic advances that are meeting the new, extreme conditions and massive data collection, transfer, and analysis needs.
As though the technological, mechanical, electronic, and data demands weren't challenging enough, companies are also contending with the tough, global economic climate. Another side of OTC underscored the growing need to support energy companies with turnkey solutions for companies that must search the global semiconductor and electronics industry to support their operations and internal customers with just-in-time situations.
The rapid growth of machine-to-machine has created a critical need for services to support the onboard electronic components that were not traditionally part of the E&P toolkit. The learning curve for proper handling of electronic components, documenting and ensuring regulatory compliance, electronics process quality management, traceability requirements, and strategic inventory management and warehousing for the latest complex component architectures are significant challenges.
The next generation of tech solutions are paving the way for safer, more productive, effective, and data-rich solutions, thanks to the latest electronic designs and chip architectures that can meet the rugged physical and intensive data tasks.