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Follow live as Shell talks training, equipment and standards

Follow live as Shell officials talk training, equipment and standards.  More »
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If OTC was a city, it’d be among the state’s largest

It’s a bit of a cliche to say that the Offshore Technology Conference is like a small city.  More »
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OTC: A new way to test blowout preventers

Today, I’m trying to spend less time listening to talks and more time wandering the floor of the Offshore Technology Conference. My first stop was to see a demo of IPT Global’s SureTec program for testing blowout preventers.  More »
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Advertising for booths at the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference line the escalators Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Advertisement around every corner at OTC

We’ve become used to advertisements on shopping carts. Gas station islands have become more of a space for promoting the coffee and donuts inside than pumping gas.  More »
BP beaches cleanup

Former BP advisor lashes out at media, feds for spill response

Rusty Riese forecasted that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will have no lasting environmental impact, during a morning session at the Offshore Technology Conference.  More »
Undated aerial image released by Royal Dutch Shell PLC of the Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, around 110 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland. (AP Photo/Ken Taylor/Shell/PA Wire)

UK minister hears industry gripes at OTC; says tax relief is coming

An oil executive complained that inconsistency in the United Kingdom’s tax policy impedes investment in North Sea oil and gas; a British official said tax relief is in this year’s budget.  More »
Shell used the Noble Discoverer to explore in the Chukchi Sea in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Feds reviewing Shell’s 10 Arctic drilling permit proposals

Federal regulators are vetting Shell’s plans to drill 10 wells in Arctic waters near Alaska ahead of planned testing of oil spill response equipment later this year. Shell still has to convince regulators that it can contain oil and gas in case of a blown out well in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.  More »
A gas pipe ejects a flame at a gas deposit, known as Kashi in Japan and Tianwaitian in China, that sits near a median line in the countries' overlapping exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. China rejected Japanese protests over alleged improper exploration of the gas deposits on Feb. 3, 2012 as the Foreign Ministry said the recent activity had taken place within Chinese-controlled waters and was completely normal. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

China’s growing demand will fuel offshore investments

China’s growing demand for oil will fuel investments in offshore fossil fuel production and lead to growth in the country’s own related industries, speakers at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston said Tuesday morning.  More »
Fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

OTC: When ethical introspection becomes preaching to the choir

Wander the halls of OTC, and you quickly gain a feel for how insular the oil industry can be. It tends to view outside critiques, and especially criticism, with disdain. That may be why a breakfast discussion Tuesday started with introductions that included a note that the speakers had engineering degrees, which should “satisfy the room.”  More »
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A beauty queen, Scots in kilts & OTC virgins

One of the first big parties of OTC was Monday night’s UK Energy Excellence reception at the Hilton Post Oak. OTC vets know the Brits like a good party, and OTC virgins (or newbies) are just happy to be invited.  More »
BSEE Director James Watson. (Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle)

Follow live as BSEE Director James Watson talks new regulations

BSEE Director James Watson talks about new rules aimed at improve safety.  More »
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officiates as Retired Rear Adm. James Watson is sworn in as director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, with his wife Anne Watson, holding a Bible. (Photo: Tami Heilemann/Interior Department)

Offshore drilling regulator lays out agenda for OTC

The nation’s top offshore drilling regulator today laid out an ambitious agenda for his agency, including plans to issue new mandates for emergency equipment and update decades-old regulations governing oil and gas production safety systems.  More »