OTC is in the Air….

But wait, isn’t OTC in May?  Yes, the program happens each year the first week of May, and thousands come from around the world to exhibit, network and learn.  But how does that all happen in May?  By the work of many dedicated professionals who work all year long to generate ideas, recruit technical papers, gather subject matter experts, and create the final plan. For those of us who program OTC, October is our big month.  The abstracts have been submitted and our committee members have rated and assembled the abstracts to build sessions  for the program.  Our goal is the best and most relevant technical program regarding any and all technologies related to the ocean environment.  While traditionally dominated by hydrocarbons, the last several years have witnessed the growth of alternative energy from waves, currents, tides and wind.  This year will not disappoint in the diversification of these topics. Subsea Engineering Technologies is a strong supporter of OTC.  Two of our founders, Doreen Chin and Barbara Thompson, are members of the OTC Board and Program Committees, respectively.  Last year we presented four technical papers in topics ranging from the effects of shale on deep water, flow assurance and alternative energy sources.  We plan on participating actively again in 2018, and we can’t wait to see you all there to share our learnings and...

Shining a Light on the Oil Field

Many folks say that “charity begins at home”, and this was profoundly on display last week at the annual Bright Lights Foundation Golf Tournament Fundraiser at Tour 18.  Since its formation in 2003, the Foundation has assisted people of all ages meet the crippling financial burden associated with catastrophic medical issues. From assisting with newborns to providing financial help to those with chronic or even terminal illness, the Foundation has helped change lives and give new hope.  The weather was hot but clear and some terrific scores were submitted.  As fun as it is to play golf with colleagues and enjoy the food and wine, the big reward was to meet the sweet daughter of one of our colleagues that will receive the funds for her ongoing health care needs. Subsea Engineering Technologies made a humble contribution for the golf tournament this year, but we plan to return each year to continue the support of this worthy organization with ever increasing amounts. ...

Reading the stitches on the fast ball

For those of us in the Houston area, one of the feel good stories of the week is that the Astros have clinched a play-off berth and are headed for the post-season.   This is a team of successful, aggressive hitters that take advantage of whatever the pitcher sends their way.   A little baseball mania in the fall is a great escape. Speaking of getting away from it all  – what is up with the price of oil (keyword, up)?  There are several articles out this week in anticipation of the next OPEC meeting in which the members are expected to re-affirm production cuts to support the price of oil – Brent today is $56.19 and WTI is $50.77.  These price increases over this week are counter-intuitive with the other news that Shale is back on line, Refineries were shut-in for Harvey, and Inventories are up.  Could it be that ‘timing is everything’?  Large inventories signal price softening, and  perhaps the august members of OPEC will react by continuing cuts, even in the face of recent oil price surges, to reduce those inventories. We see optimism in our fellow subsea brethren here at SET as we hear our phone ringing and see our inboxes filling with requests.   SET is committed to solutions that increase productivity and lower operating costs for our customers no matter what the market price and no matter what the mood is for OPEC.  While others are reading tea leaves, we are reading the stitches on the fast ball and are ready for the next pitch....

#HoustonStrong

Many of us in the energy industry are located on the Gulf of Mexico Coast and have just experienced the 1,000 year event known as #Harvey. This is a brief post to offer many words of “thanks” to the many first responders, both from the hard hit areas from Corpus Christi, Houston and Beaumont and from across the USA who have worked around the clock to save families, pets and properties.  The SET team is proud to call Houston home and offer our thoughts and prayers to those affected.  We stand ready to help our employees, customers and neighbors in this time of need. Please consider contributing to the many credible charities helping those in need such as the JJ Watt Foundation ,or the American Red...

From Jurassic to Tertiary Periods – How the Small and Nimble Survive to Thrive

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the theory that a large asteroid cataclysmically struck the earth near modern day Yucatan and wiped out the dinosaurs almost immediately due to the hostile environment that enveloped the earth.  The sunlight that is crucial to plant growth was blocked for many months. Large reptiles that needed the warmth of the sun and the food from the plants deceased en masse.  This gave a slow rise to small mammals that could regulate their own body temperatures in the colder climates and required less plant life for food.   As the earth recovered, the Age of Reptiles (Jurassic) was replaced by the Age of Mammals (Tertiary), and the earth was now home to nimble, resourceful and adaptive animals.  Or so the story goes…… How about this theory…..   A large asteroid (shale revolution) cataclysmically strikes the earth (offshore industry) and wipes out the dinosaurs (large companies with expensive infrastructures and rigid contracts) almost immediately due to the hostile environment (low oil prices) that followed.  The sunlight (high oil price) that is crucial to plant growth (profits) may be blocked for years.  The large companies that need high oil price and the profits they produce are failing and struggling to survive through en masse layoffs and mergers.  This has given rise to small companies (operators and service companies) that can adapt to the climate and require less income to survive.   As the offshore industry recovers, the smaller companies can tap into the talent pool discarded when the large companies faltered.  This is now the age of the nimble, resourceful and adaptive company that continuously adjusts to...