Tens of thousands of folks from the offshore drilling industry will gather in Houston starting Monday for the massive, week-long Offshore Technology Conference, aka OTC. Since 1969, the conference has been a hotspot for offshore oil and gas technology. Think of it as SXSW for offshore drilling.
But it’s not all fossil fuels grabbing attention. A full technical program at the conference Thursday will look at ‘Offshore Wind and Wave Energy,’ with a keynote by Greg Matzat, Senior Advisor for Offshore Wind Technologies at U.S. Department of Energy.
“It’s a component of energy resources that are going to be developed offshore, so it’s a natural fit for our program,” says Stephen Graham, executive director of the conference.
It’s not the first time offshore wind and wave energy have been explored at the conference, Graham notes. But there’s new support in Texas for researching offshore wind’s potential, including millions of dollars for research from the state and federal governments.
Another topic on tap next week will feature experts from Japan talking about their work producing natural gas from methane hydrates, which are trapped in ice deep below the ocean floor. There are potentially massive deposits of natural gas that could be produced if harvesting methane hydrates proves viable, including in the Gulf of Mexico.