Antique Store and OTC

My brother, who is a civil engineer in Kentucky, came to visit us during OTC in 2013. During his stay here in Houston, we did many things together, including visiting the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) and a local antique store.

OTC is an annual event that takes place in the month of May in Houston. As the largest oil and gas conference and exhibition in the United States, OTC attracts typically 30,000 – 50,000 visitors from around the world. The exhibition area is huge. My brother and I got tired after a couple of hours walking in one of the exhibition halls. OTC covers numerous technical areas which are totally new to us. We got lost in the aisles of booths, instruments and equipment. We felt so behind in many of the new technologies. However, we also felt that we were lucky to be part of the engineering world (drilling software for me) and that we are contributing to the big wave of technology advancement. We felt the vibe of the next generation. OTC is like a stage, where people dance with their dreams and where dreams come true.

After OTC, we visited a local antique market which had many small, individually owned shops selling items that have history. We were delighted to see many items that had quite a storied past, as the shop owners explained their history. We found an old kerosene lamp which captured a moment in our technology development.

These items are like fragments of time. Touching them allows us to travel back in time. When we are young, we spend more time dreaming, looking into the future. As we grow older, we are more occupied by things we are busy with at the present time; less time to dream, more time for memory review, perhaps.

When we are looking back at the past and forward into the future it gives pleasure to us both ways. A couple of years ago, I gave a presentation on TADPRO, our torque and drag model, to SPE Gulf Coast Section in Houston. I used two slides to summarize the history of drilling. The first one was a schematic of the drilling scene 2,000 years ago in China. The second one was a picture of an offshore platform, representing modern drilling technology. Both pictures represented the very advanced drilling technologies being used at the time. Centuries and millenniums elapsed. Our knowledge accumulation from history enables us to stand where we are.

Similarly, our drilling software development is the result of continuous engineering research and development over the past few decades. I have been fortunate to work with people with engineering and information technology backgrounds; some new and some seasoned. We, as developers are getting older, but our software stays young and robust.

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