Since its inception during 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) has provided a platform for energy professionals to meet and exchange ideas and opinions regarding scientific and technical knowledge relating to offshore resources and environmental concerns. While the flagship OTC conference is held annually at NRG Park (formerly Reliant Park) in Houston, the success of the event has spurred the organisation to expand both technically and globally with the addition of the Arctic Technology Conference, OTC Brasil, OTC Asia and d5 exhibitions.

Today the OTC is sponsored by 13 industry organisations and societies that work co-operatively to develop the exhibition’s technical programme. The OTC also maintains a strong network of endorsing and supporting organisations, which ensures that the event is underpinned by a broad base of technical knowledge and industry know-how. Through its industry sponsorship and supporting organisations, the OTC is able to give attendees access to leading-edge technical information, the offshore industry’s largest equipment exhibition and invaluable new professional contacts. The organisation champions the ideals of value and quality by delivering a technical programme selected by knowledgeable and experienced professionals and allowing visitors to see ground-breaking innovations and meet leading suppliers of products and services.

The organisers of the OTC also ensure that the event is easily accessible and convenient for attendees. The event is always held during the full first week of May annually in the world’s energy capital, allowing visitors to combine OTC with client meetings, business proposals and company training. The city of Houston boasts 174 nonstop flights, world-class venues and hotels, as well as efficient and easily accessible public transportation. Through these values and strengths the event gives visitors simple access to more than 90,000 professionals from circa 120 countries, while OTC sponsoring organisations also use revenue to provide many other important programmes for its members such as training and technical journals.

The first OTC exhibition was held in Houston’s Albert Thomas Convention Centre and was such a success that the event grew almost overnight, resulting in the annual booking of Houston’s NRG Park. During the following 47 years the OTC has continued to grow alongside the global offshore industry, reaching an attendance of 108,300 visitors during 2014. OTC presently ranks among the largest 100 trade shows held annually within the US and is considered one of the ten largest trade meetings in terms of attendance, representing a significant forum for the offshore industry. The event is also the city of Houston’s largest convention and since 1969, OTC has generated approximately $2.5 billion in income for the city.

The OTC has rapidly established itself as an important and dynamic meeting place for industry players within the offshore sector and has grown to extend its reach around the world to focus on specific and regional issues. The OTC Brasil and Arctic Technology Conference events were launched in 2011, while OTC Asia was created in 2012. During the same year the Brazilian Petroleum, Gas, and Biofuels Institute (IBP) was also confirmed as a regional sponsoring organisation and co-organiser of OTC Brasil. During 2013 the flagship OTC event in Houston reached a new record of more than 2,700 exhibiting companies in an exhibition space equivalent to ten US football fields, while in 2014 OTC set a new record for the size of its exhibit space, reaching some 680,025 sq ft.

Over the decades OTC has maintained a leading position of relevance to the offshore energy industry and has initiated several initiatives, including all day education workshops and other programmes, to expand its service to the local and energy communities. By 2015 the OTC had hosted the largest show within its history, encompassing 695,005 sq ft. including outdoor exhibits. The sold-out 2015 event was held from the 4-7 May and attracted in excess of 94,700 attendees from 130 countries, representing the sixth largest event attendance in the 47- year history of the OTC. The conference was made up of 2682 exhibiting companies representing 37 countries, with 42 per cent of exhibitors made up of international companies. This represented an increase of 114 companies from 2568 attending exhibitors in 2014. Commenting on the success of the OTC in 2015, OTC Chairman Ed Stokes said: “OTC continues to bring the world to Houston. The record-setting number of paper submissions ensured a high-quality technical program, covering the latest innovations and applications within the industry. Coupled with superb panels, in-depth executive keynotes, a new crop of Spotlight on New Technology award winners and a record-setting exhibition, OTC drew everyone from CEOs to engineers to government officials.”

OTC 2016 has continued in this tradition and proven to be an impressive success. More than 68,000 attendees from 120 countries gathered at the annual conference, placing 2016’s OTC among the top 15 highest attended. The event again focused on delivering a packed technical programme that appeals to individuals working at all levels within the offshore business. The conference began with a breakfast discussion titled ‘The Next Chapter: How Oil and Gas Companies can adapt to the New Environment.’ Granherne Inc. Director, David Barton chaired the talk with BP’s Chief Executive, Bernard Looney acting as speaker. Mr. Looney discussed his perspective on the changing environment for the oil and gas industry, while looking ahead to the next decade and the challenges and opportunities that it presents.

The opening day of OTC 2016 concentrated on the themes of ‘Thriving on Volatility: Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions. The event also considered the ways that volatility can create challenges in the oil and gas industry, but also how it can equally breed new opportunities. In conjunction with this, OTC 2016 hosted its ‘The Next Wave 2016’ programme, which offered an opportunity for industry leaders and young professionals to share insight and experience relating to how to successfully navigate and thrive during times of volatility. Throughout the OTC 2016 programme a host of industry developments were addressed including the future of subsea separation; the need for change in major capital projects; alternative offshore gas modernisation; and cyber security assurance to name a few. The exhibition floor was sold out before the conference and was the third largest in show history at 672,300 ft², including outdoor exhibits. This year’s conference had more than 2,600 companies exhibiting. These exhibitors represented 47 countries, up from last year’s 37. Additionally, nearly 300 were new exhibitors, and international companies made up 51 per cent of exhibitors.

“As it has since 1969, the world came to OTC to make critical decisions, share ideas and develop business partnerships to meet global energy demands,” concludes Joe Fowler, OTC 2016 chairman. “The commitment from OTC’s volunteers and staff ensured, regardless of the price of oil per barrel, that OTC upheld its unwavering commitment to delivering attendees unparalleled information on new technologies and global developments. Also, revenue from OTC directly benefits the member programs of its 13 nonprofit sponsoring organisations.”

Offshore Technology Conference
Exhibition May 2016
For further information please visit: www.otc.org