OTC kicks off with reduced attendance; energy transition central subject


The OTC (Offshore Technology Conference) one the major events in the energy industry in the globe, kicked off sessions this Monday; however, with a reduced attendance, as the Covid-19 spread and its new string, Delta, keeps its grip and remains dangerous.

Firstly, last year, organizers took the decision to cancel what it is indeed the world’s largest oil and gas industry conference. Nevertheless, for this year efforts paid and with a hybrid system, of online and in person attendance, the conference inaugurated activities this Monday.

Secondly, about the efforts taken to bring the Conference, Cindy Yeilding, OTC’s chairperson, said. “We have had these timelines with decisions for ‘go/no go’; what we did for 2021 was we deferred, based on CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) and global guidance, to August. Thinking that with vaccinations that would be the safest time and it was also the most convenient for Houston.”

Thirdly, in past years, the Conference have drawn around 60,000 visitors; for this year there is no way to tell how things will go. “We are still carrying a lot of uncertainty on how much international attendance we will truly be able to have; but we expect it to be lower,” Yeilding said; and she also added. “That’s where, we hope, the virtual aspect will fill a big gap.”

Moreover, for people attending in person to the Conference, there will be enhanced cleaning protocols; social distancing, hand sanitizing and also, contactless payments; while some OTC staples like scheduled formal dinners have had to be cut down to keep workers safe.

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Energy transition, central subject of OTC 2021

In addition, due to the Covid-19 concerns, oilfield services provider Schlumberger has withdrawn its staff from the OTC, as Reuters reported. In the statement, Schlumberger spokesperson Moira Duff, said “As the Houston hospitalization rates increase rapidly; Schlumberger has taken the decision to withdraw from the Offshore Technology Conference.”

On the other hand, according to Yeilding, energy transition will be one of the main subjects of the OTC. In fact, the opening session discussed the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenario; which stated that no new oil and gas fields should be developed if the sector is to reach net zero.

Furthermore, Yeilding said about the matter. “These sorts of predictions are good because they stimulate dialogues and force all of us to put real data in the room; rather than just aspirational targets”.

Finally, this trend has helped Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, to boost the output of cleaner oil in the country. Company’s Chief Production Officer, said that deepwater oilfield will be put in auction in December; projects would boost the use of low carbon technologies for oil extraction.

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