Lots of people have been trying to track me down this week in Houston. Unfortunately, as I’ve shared with them, they’d have to head 150 miles west because I’m in Austin. The reports from OTC are coming from quite a number of Emerson folks at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). Here’s some of the feedback from the team.
Greg Rose had many discussions on the use of compact orifice flowmeters used in gas, liquid, and steam applications. Given the limited space on offshore platforms, the conditioning orifice plates were of interest since they reduce straight pipe requirements to two diameters upstream and downstream from flow disturbances.
Greg Huey also had many discussions on using wireless to help solve new and different applications. Oil and gas automation engineers were expressing difficulties in not having all the resources on the platform when they are needed. The technicians end up calling back onshore for help troubleshooting and working on some equipment.
While the team is troubleshooting the problem, it is difficult at times for the onshore personnel to understand with what the platform personnel are having problems. Greg showed how having a headset available with an integrated camera and boom microphone in a wireless platform network enables the technician to show the onshore support team what they are having problems with to be able to more quickly resolve the problem.
Tom Jeansonne discussed valve automation options for a subsea water injection system and hydraulic operated flood valves for jacket launches [here’s a cool video if you’ve never seen a jacket launched]. A final problem-solving discussion centered on a subsea automation solution for throttling a 10″ 2500# ANSI valve in water depths approach 2 miles.
The energy and excitement of oil and gas producers gyrates with price of these commodities. I experienced this personally with five years as an offshore automation engineer in the 1980s. Given the recent climbing prices, it’s no wonder that this is the largest OTC exhibition in 29 years. To increase the production to meet the growing global demand, oil and gas producers are closely looking at how these technologies and solutions work and can be put to use.