Technical Article - November 13, 2019

Exploration and Production (E&P) Leaders Gather for Arctic Technology Conference

Written by Expert: Sudhir Pai 5 min read

More than 250 industry leaders highly involved in Arctic Exploration and Production (E&P) gathered for the 2018 Arctic Technology Conference recently in Houston. 

Supported by the Offshore Technology Conference’s network of scientific and professional societies, the conference provided a platform for collaboration among colleagues, vendors, and academia to reveal innovations, solutions, ideas, and emerging technologies for both onshore and offshore activities in the Arctic basins.

Sudhir Pai, SPE, Managing Director, Schlumberger, and Vice Chairman, 2018 OTC Arctic Technology Conference
Participants in the opening plenary panel were, from left, Lars-Erik Aamot, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Norway; Wafik Beydoun, Total Kuwait; Peter Noble, Noble Associates; Sara Longon, North Slope Science Initiative; Sudhir Pai, Schlumberger; and Doug Trask, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

The conference presented a highly specialized program that included more than 70 technical presentations, six panel discussions, and four topical breakfasts and luncheons.

The Distinguished Achievement Award ceremony recognized the major technological, humanitarian, environmental, and leadership contributions of an individual and an organization. Due to his contributions and accomplishments in the industry, Kenneth Bird was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals. As a petroleum geologist, Bird led assessment teams to produce a series of scientifically sound, methodologically rigorous, and policy-neutral products widely accepted in Alaska and the global Arctic regions. Since the 1980s, Bird has been at the forefront of resource-assessment projects that have been executed by the US Geological Survey. The National Research Council of Canada was presented the Distinguished Achievement Award for their involvement in the development of Arctic tools and technologies. For more than 60 years, NRC Canada has provided regulatory, operational, and engineering design support to clients.

Sudhir Pai, SPE, Managing Director, Schlumberger, and Vice Chairman, 2018 OTC Arctic Technology Conference
Sudhir Pai, SPE, Managing Director, Schlumberger, and Vice Chairman, 2018 OTC Arctic Technology Conference

There is a Future in the Arctic

The current economic and business environment is challenging to conduct safe and environmentally friendly hydrocarbon exploration and development in the Arctic. However, the Arctic continues to be a region of close observation to use relevant technology, respecting local requirements, and be ready for a time when we see a step up and acceleration of activity.

In spite of a reduction of E&P activity in the Arctic, this conference continues to attract interest for several reasons:

  • It is the premier event focused on the Arctic, not just E&P but also mining, shipping, logistics, environment, and, most importantly, the local people and communities.
  • It is a platform for the passionate community to meet, network, and present quality technical papers. The 2018 event attracted 103 abstracts, which translated to 70 presentations split into 12 technical sessions. Six panel discussions, and four topical breakfasts and luncheons focused on current themes with specific regional focus from the Chuckchi Sea (US), the Beaufort Sea (Canada) and the Barents Sea (Finland and Norway).
  • Exhibiting companies can showcase their latest products and innovations to specialized decision-makers focused on finding unique solutions for successful operations in this area.

This was the sixth OTC Arctic conference to be held. For more information on the conference, please go to

This Article was originally published in the Journal of Petroleum Technology, April 2019 edition.

Written by Expert: Sudhir Pai on November 13, 2019

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