Perry Wright, Director of Integrated Subsea Systems for Ocean Specialists, Inc. (OSI), and Kevin Comer, President of Marine Ventures Int’l, (MVI) attended the OilComm 2019 Conference and Exhibition in Houston the 2nd and 3rd of October. Although the conference was limited to a single track this year, the event was reasonably well attended, and as always, provided an ideal location to catch up with Oil Industry customers, contacts and friends, often all the same person.

With Houston as a key center for the Offshore Oil Industry, the event provided some insight into the problems and commercial advantages of remote operations.   Through the panel discussion, “How Pacific Drilling Cracked the Code for Higher Day Rates,” we learned that Pacific Drilling, together with Oceaneering, were able to make a good case for improved availability and quality of communication by implementing multiple diverse communication paths to maximize uptime. This was demonstrated by providing a Live “Hack” to a mobile drilling platform, piloting an ROV from the Conference floor.

OSI has long been a proponent of the advantages of high availability communication, where subsea fiber optic cables provide unparalleled availability, capacity and quality of service. Unfortunately, the conference did not address the use of subsea fiber as a communication medium.

The main message of the conference focused on a combination of communication security and Cyberthreats, and improved applications with the advent of enhancement in the use of cloud services, 4GLTE and Network Management improvements. Together, these offer improved efficiencies in Offshore Operations both now and for future developments designed to make the best use of these efficiencies.

Given that this is a Houston-based conference, the recent performance of the Houston Astros baseball team (2:1 with the Yankees in the American League Pennant Race as this is being written), promising another run at the World Series following their win in 2017, was the perfect backdrop to Ben Reiter’s talk on “How the Astros Utilized Data Science to Win it All (And How Your Company Can Do the Same).”  As this was the last session of the first day and was followed by the Bases Loaded Bash reception, the conversation at the reception was evenly split between business and baseball.