The blowout preventer that failed to stop the out-of-control flow of oil from BP's Macondo well is pulled from the Gulf of Mexico in September 2010. (Pat Semansky, AP)

Offshore industry has worst-case scenario technology at four strategic sites

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The energy industry has deployed technology that can stop the most devastating offshore blowouts in four strategic locations around the world in order to ensure they can be quickly deployed to where they’re needed.
PPSA Chief Executive Officer Oswaldo A. Pedrosa Jr. takes the microphone to speak about challenges in managing Brazil's offshore Libra field consortium at the Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park on Monday, May 5. (Marie DeJesus/Houston Chronicle)

Brazil’s labor shortage can be surmounted, official says

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Brazil’s state-owned Pre-Sal Petroleo SA and its corporate partners, who are drilling into one of the world’s largest offshore oil discoveries in the last decade, face severe challenges because of rules restricting the amount of foreign goods used by local industries.
Roberto Faldini of Italy's Saipem S.p.A. discusses the company's new pipelaying ship CastorOne. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Companies discuss technology for building pipeline better

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An Italian oil service company recently finished laying a huge swatch of pipeline across the Gulf of Mexico and will soon launch a new project on the other side of the globe.
1971: Survival Capsule enables offshore crews to escape during a hurricane. The craft accomodates 28 people and is promoted as completely seaworthy. (Tom Colburn / Houston Chronicle)

Photos: OTC through history

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The popularity of the Offshore Technology Conference has ebbed and flowed with the health of the oil and gas industry. Take a journey through the Offshore Technology Conference’s 35-year history:
Shell's Olympus platform (Shell)

Gulf’s bounty commands attention amid shale drilling boom

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Technological innovations are helping to unlock untapped areas of the Gulf — and even allowing companies to breathe new life into old projects.
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Offshore industry expo rides wave of deep-water production

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At a time when the surge in U.S. onshore shale production is getting a lot of headlines, domestic offshore production is set for a surge of its own. That will be part of the buzz as more than 90,000 executives, scientists, engineers and others converge on NRG Park through Thursday for the annual Offshore Technology Conference.
The Noble Paul Romano. (Photo: Noble Corp.)

Noble Corp. won’t pursue IPO for spinoff after all

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Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. announced Wednesday that it won’t move forward with an initial public offering of stock in a new spinoff company, but the spinoff will continue as planned.
Photo: (Flickr/Luis Argerich)

US regulations push wave-energy project to Australia

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A company that was planning a wave energy installation off the Oregon coast that could have powered 1,000 homes has said it will instead undertake the project in Australia.
Thomas P. Burke was elected April 25, 2014, as CEO of  Rowan Companies, an international offshore driller based in Houston.

Rowan Companies promotes president to CEO

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Thomas P. Burke is the new CEO of Rowan Companies, an offshore driller.
Noble Corp. opened a new training center in Sugar Land, Texas in August 2013. The state-of-the-art facility uses realistic simulations to keep employees up-to-speed on operating offshore drilling equipment. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Inside Noble Corp.’s new high-tech training center (photos)

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As offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. focuses increasingly on the most high-tech rigs, training has become even more critical to the way it does business.