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Kirk Coburn, founder and managing director of Surge Ventures, introduces speakers at an event for Houston tech entrepreneurs seeking inroads into the oil and gas industry. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Tough times in oil patch raise prospects for tech startups

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The collapse in crude prices is fueling an appetite for new ideas to produce oil more efficiently, positioning Houston entrepreneurs for a boom of their own
Oceaneering International displays its remotely operated underwater vehicle at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston on Monday. Oceaneering's ROVs took part in repairing damage at a blown-out well during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago.

OTC: Robots and automation offshore create new safety and cyber risks

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Increasing computerization and automation offshore open up the possibility of dangerous disruptions, driven by errant software updates and plugged-in flash drives. One incident has already taken place.
(Offshore Technology Conference)

OTC panel to talk big ideas on fifth day of programming

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Organizers described the lineup as more like South by Southwest or X-Games than an industry conference.
Kurdistan_prepping WRUs

Wireless Seismic facing patent infringement suit

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The Sugar Land-based company with investment from energy giants Total and Chesapeake is facing a federal lawsuit alleging that it’s infringing on a rival firm’s patents.
Richard Belote, director of software development for FuelFX, demonstrates a virtual reality simulation at the company headquarters in Bellaire, TX. (Michael Starghill, Jr.)

How virtual reality can help the oil industry’s worker shortage (video)

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From a non-descript office in the Galleria area, it’s possible to walk around a refinery, an oil rig and even an offshore platform — thanks to high-tech tools taking advantage of virtual reality.
Photo:  www.tallybook.com

Update on the Digital Tallybook project (video)

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Eventually I would like to create what I call a “closed loop” solution, whereby things like job procedures are stored in the cloud, an engineer can download those to and modify them on a tablet, and beam them to a wearable device.
BMW Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer uses the term “German Angst” to explain the paradox of the country’s innovation ability on one hand and its reluctance to embrace technological change on the other. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

Germany CEOs lament lost innovation amid fracking angst

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The country that invented the modern car and X-ray technology is adding fracking to the list of innovations it’s wary of.
Photo:  www.companyfounder.com

Participating in Houston’s thriving startup scene

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To me, that’s the selling point: if you want to work on meaningful problems with very large impacts, Houston’s a great place to be, not only because the biggest potential customers are here, but also because you have ample resources at your disposal.
Sanchez Energy CEO Tony Sanchez III (Billy Smith II / Houston Chronicle)

CEO discusses key behind Sanchez Energy’s rapid growth

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Sanchez Energy’s massive planned Eagle Ford Shale buy announced Wednesday is the latest in a string of acquisitions that the three-year-old company believes will push its revenue to more than $1 billion next year.
A worker climbs to the drilling cabin on a Nabors rig. (Nathan Lindstrom/For the Houston Chronicle)

Millennials spurning Silicon Valley for oil patch

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Mark Hiduke just raised $100 million to build his three-week-old company. This 27-year-old isn’t a Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur. He’s a Texas oilman.