OTC Event Attracts Big Crowd

The 2008 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) brought together more than 450 young professionals and industry experts for “The Next Wave,” a program designed to provide career insight as well as challenge the mind by addressing current issues and trends. Because of the impressive turnout at the 2007 YP event at OTC, which attracted close to 400 attendees, organizers decided to hold The Next Wave again this year, which sold out. 

The relationships between national oil companies (NOCs), international oil companies (IOCs), and service companies were discussed during the opening session with varying perspectives from industry executives. Participating were Karl Kurz, Chief Operating Officer of Anadarko Petroleum; Ryan Lance, President of Exploration & Production for ConocoPhillips; and Pete Miller, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Oilwell Varco.

Panelists also discussed the enormous change that has occurred in the industry over the past 5 years. One of the biggest changes is the increase in global oil demand. More than 88% of the world’s oil reserves are held by NOCs and 15 of the 20 top oil producers in the world are NOCs. Because of this, the financial condition of NOCs is changing. With a tsunami of increased revenue, they no longer necessarily need to look to the IOCs for capital. Strategies are changing from accelerating resources to maintaining them. “You are seeing some of that long-term preservation ideology come into the management of NOCs resources,” said Kurz. 

With NOCs controlling such a large portion of reserves, it is important that IOCs and service companies work together to become collaborative strategic partners, panelists said. One thing is certain: there is a symbiotic relationship among the three types of companies with all having an important place in this business.

During the panel session titled, “My Career—The Key Themes Impacting My Future in the Industry,” four industry experts were asked the question, “How do I set myself apart going from being seen as a competent employee or manager to being seen and regarded as a leader?” All four industry experts agreed that YPs should be willing to get their hands dirty, must demonstrate competency, should step up to the plate when no one else will, and be willing to take on challenging projects. “Leaders design the human system in the organization,” said Chris Haver, Vice President with RPSEA.

After lunch, the breakout session began with questions giving attendees a chance to collaborate on ideas and engage in group table discussions. The program ended with a networking reception allowing further conversations and providing business contacts and newly formed friendships.