Fuel Fix

Spectators look at an, AIV, or Autonomous Inspection Vehicle made by Subsea 7, is seen at the company's booth during day two of the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Center Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Houston. The vehicle is used to conduct inspections at on subsea systems at depths of up to 10,000 feet. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Drone presence grows at OTC — with video

Drones aren’t just for government agencies or science fiction movies.  More »
People enter the Chairman's Club at the Reliant Center to attend an exclusive event by BP. (Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

BP uses exclusive suite to covertly recruit top talent

BP took recruiting at OTC an extra step. It rented out the Chairman’s Club high in Reliant Stadium to host sessions for engineers and other technical experts who might be interested in switching jobs.  More »
A panel discussing innovation listens to opening remarks during the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Innovation, collaboration can solve offshore challenges, industry leaders say

Oil and gas firms not only need to share technology they develop, but they also must tap into the innovative products available in other industries to produce increasingly difficult-to-find resources in deep waters around the world, Royal Dutch Shell’s technology chief said Thursday.  More »
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A video monitor wall with the Technip Deep Energy ship at the companies booth during OTC 2013 at Reliant Park Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

It’s not MTV, but there are videos at Technip’s booth

A 10-minute wide-screen countdown to the world debut of a video about Technip’s state-of-the-art subsea pipelay vessel – which will be one of the fastest and longest in the world – took on an even more dramatic tone when it was broadcast on a 154-inch by 91-inch display made of up of 16 screens.  More »
Apache Corp. headquarters, 2000 Post Oak Blvd

Apache to sell off $4 billion in assets, buy back shares

Apache Corp., this year’s third-worst performing oil and natural gas producer on Standard & Poor’s energy index, plans to sell $4 billion in assets by the end of this year and buy back shares.  More »
Christopher Smith, acting assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Department of Energy, speaks on current government research on oil and gas during the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle )

U.S.-Mexico collaboration seen necessary on Eagle Ford drilling

The vast oil buried in the Eagle Ford shale rock formation in south Texas doesn’t end at the Rio Grande — so the U.S. must work with Mexico on accessing the reserves on both sides of the border, a top Obama administration official said Thursday.  More »
Greg Dillard, a partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP

Guest Commentary: Regulatory uncertainty challenging offshore operators

Greg Dillard, a partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP, says it is in no one’s best interest to establish a regulatory climate that chills operators’ incentive to vigorously self-evaluate their operations for safety improvements.  More »
The RamTel from GE Oil & Gas is one of the Offshore Technology Conference s 15 Spotlight on New Technology Award winners.

Spotlight Award: GE technology targets BOP problems revealed in Gulf spill

One of the many lessons learned in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe was the need to know exactly what is going on inside the blowout preventer. GE Oil & Gas developed two new systems to fix that.  More »
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Networking tip: Lay off the swag

Loading yourself down with all those chip clips, thumb drives, mouse pads, stuffed animals, koozies, hats, hand-muscle exercisers and key chains sends a message that says, “not so serious.”  More »
One of the lighting products on display at the Federal Signal booth during OTC 2013 at Reliant Park Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

Warning: This booth is bright and loud

Flashing lights are always an attention-grabber at the Offshore Technology Conference, but for Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems, they are essential.  More »
ShearMax low force shear rams that can shear drill pipe tool joints measuring up to 6 5/8 inch in approximately 30 seconds are shown at National Oilwell Varco in Houston last year.  (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

New blowout preventer mandates coming — but companies won’t have to comply overnight

Federal regulators are on track to propose new standards for boosting the reliability and performance of emergency devices safeguarding offshore wells later this year — but that doesn’t mean the industry will have to comply overnight.  More »
Charlie Williams speaks during the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer )

Offshore operators should focus on building safety barriers

Offshore safety auditors will focus on identifying potential hazards and protective barriers against them, said Charlie Williams, director of the Center for Offshore Safety at a Thursday morning breakfast at the Offshore Technology Conference.  More »
Business booms early, at lunch and late afternoon at the OTC souvenir shops.  (Jeannie/Kever)

A little something for the folks back home

OTC souvenir shops on the main floor of Reliant Center quickly sold out of smaller size T-shirts, but as the show draws to a close, there are still a few goodies left.  More »
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Fractious debate on FuelFix style

It’s up to others to debate the merits of hydraulic fracturing, but we’ll take a stand on the spelling.  More »
The FASTrak logging-while-drilling fluid sampling and analysis system from Baker Hughes.

OTC Spotlight Award: Baker Hughes improves drilling communication

FASTrak allows operators to collect fluid samples while drilling, resulting in faster operations and cleaner samples.  More »