Velda Addison, Hart Energy

HOUSTON—At first glance one might walk up to Trelleborg’s booth at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), see an artist creating a beautiful painting bound for the lobby of the company’s corporate office and think nothing more of it.

But there is a story behind performance artist Ange Hillz’s colorful rendition of a rig, ROV, platform and other equipment typical of offshore operations. A closer look shows words, briefly describing innovative ideas on how the industry could further improve offshore operations, equipment and technology.

OTC 2016, Trelleborg, Think Tank, exhibitor, technology, oil, gas, innovation, Ange Hillz, offshore

On the other side of the booth was the “innovation wall,” where OTC attendees placed their ideas. Some of their suggestions:

  • Intelligent seals with sensors;
  • Fully automated submersible drilling rig;
  • High-speed abrasive slurry hose; and
  • $90 oil.

It’s all part of #TrelleborgThinkTank, which is “all about generating new and exciting ideas and solutions for the oil and gas industry for the future.”

The goal of the program is to capture the challenges the industry and customers are facing, Trelleborg spokesman Tony O’Neil told Hart Energy. The ideas give the company insight and opportunities to brainstorm on possible new products or solutions to such challenges.

OTC 2016, Trelleborg, Think Tank, exhibitor, technology, oil, gas, innovation, Ange Hillz, offshore

“We’re trying to engage people who come to the show,” he said. “We’ve had good response.”

In addition to the suggestions that filled the innovation wall, the company has received more than 1,000 suggestions online.

The person who enters the best suggestion wins an iPad, but those who showed up at Trelleborg’s booth May 4 got free ice cream—one of the many goodies being handed out on the OTC show floor.

Anyone wanting to learn about any aspect of the offshore oil and gas business had a plethora of booths to visit.

FMC Technologies was among the companies with models of offshore equipment. The company’s booth featured 40 interactive areas, including a large touch-screen mural, tours and presentations.

Among the equipment was a 125,000-lb subsea tree. The enhanced vertical deepwater tree rated for 15,000 psi is like the one used for ExxonMobil’s Julia development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

FMC also had an impressive subsea system display with tiny yellow models of various subsea system components and equipment. These included a subsea separation boosting and injection system like that used at Statoil’s Tordis development in the North Sea, a vertical gas separation system similar to that used at Total’s Pazflor offshore Angola and a miniature LNG front turret FPSO with an LNG shuttle tanker—to name a few.

For the first time this year, Technip took visitors on a virtual 360-degree tour of an FLNG vessel at its booth. After sitting down and putting on a headset and earphones, participants were treated to a ride not only above an FLNG vessel, but also underneath and through it—getting information about different parts of the vessel along the way.

People are amazed by the experience, a Technip spokeswoman said.

It was amazing, indeed, as was the rest of this year’s show. I can’t wait to see what OTC exhibitors will bring next year. OTC 2017 is set for May 1-4 at Houston’s NRG Park.

Velda Addison can be reached at