Drilling Contractor recently spoke with ExxonMobil Upstream Research’s Joseph Reilly, who is program chairman of the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). Mr Reilly shares his thoughts on the value of OTC attendance and what’s in store for new-generation workers at this year’s event, 30 April to 3 May in Houston.
As chairman of the 2012 OTC, what do you see as the value for those who work in the drilling and completion segments in attending this year’s event? What are some specific events of interest?
OTC is the largest networking event of its kind in the industry and is unique in that all the major technical disciplines related to offshore technology are represented – both in the technical program and on the exhibition floor. IADC members and staff will not only have a chance to interact with their peer professionals, but they will also be exposed to emerging trends in facilities, pipelines, flow assurance, reservoir management, ocean mining, and geoscience.
In addition, the eight panel sessions are designed to expose the audience to numerous important topics that affect the industry. These sessions are designed to provide the full diversity of opinions of experts and senior executives from IOCs, NOCs, service providers, manufacturers, academia, as well as foreign and US government officials.
How is OTC attracting the industry’s new generation of workers to this year’s event? Do you believe it’s important for industry to work specifically to these younger workers and why?
This generation of young professionals will take on positions of responsibility at a younger age and with less experience. It is important that we provide them with as much knowledge and experience as possible during that transition.
OTC hosts The Next Wave Challenges and Responsibility: Our Careers over the Decades to Come. It is one of the most anticipated events for young professionals. The program invokes thought, promotes proactive leadership and provides keys to success in the industry for our young professionals.
We also host the University R&D Showcase, which provides universities with the opportunity to share their current and planned projects of relevance to offshore technology to conference attendees.
How would you describe your experience over the past year in organizing the program for OTC? What were your principles or guidelines when deciding the direction of the program?
It’s been quite an enjoyable experience! You must remember that with our 11 sponsoring societies we have on the program committee, we have the direct input of 22 chairs/co-chairs, supported by their respective subcommittee members. In my experience, the breadth of knowledge and insight is unmatched in any other professional conference. The real distinguishing characteristic of this year’s committee is collaboration; almost all the sessions have been built with the support and input of at least two subcommittees. [Editor’s note: While OTC has 12 sponsoring societies, only 11 of the societies participate on the program committee.]
What do you hope attendees will take away from the event?
One of the strongest themes of this year’s event is operational integrity – it is a fundamental enabler of our license to operate in the offshore environment and greatly influences the regulatory environment. Operational integrity includes a large range of activities, including design standards, maintenance, testing, safety and environment. These topics are essential elements in educating the general public about our industry. Obviously, one of our primary objectives is to ensure that everyone who attends OTC leaves with a sense that their time was well invested and has a strong desire to return next year!
What are some additional events that you would like to highlight?
This year at OTC we will have a series of breakfast and luncheon presentations by major IOCs, NOCs and independent operators who will present their views on future industry directions, operational integrity and risk management. It will include presentations by senior executives of Total, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, PetroVietnam, CNOOC and ADNOC. Readers can find the full program here.
Each year we also recognize innovative technologies with our Spotlight on New Technology award. This is for OTC exhibitors and showcases the latest and most advanced technologies that are the future of the industry. We have selected 13 technologies as this year’s winners, and they will be presented with an award on 30 April at 16:00 in the Rotunda at Reliant Center.
What was final attendance at last year’s OTC, and what attendance do you expect this year?
Attendance in 2011 reached a 29-year high with 78,645 people, which was an increase of 9% from 2010. We anticipate more than 78,000 in attendance this year, and with the addition of an air-conditioned outdoor exhibition space, we expect this year’s show to be the largest show in OTC’s history.
Editor’s note: In addition to the 12 sponsoring organizations, OTC has two endorsing organizations, which are IADC and the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association, as well as 10 supporting organizations and one invited organization. IADC is represented on the OTC board of directors by Morrison “Moe” Plaisance, Diamond Offshore Drilling.