Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Offshore Technology Report

The BizRadioNetwork has been originating some of its shows from the floor of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston this week.

Pretty amazing exhibition.
If you’re into big iron (or steel or aluminum) this is the place for you. Big Boy Toys and Tools galore.

I stopped by an exhibit at the Wirth booth, just to gaze in wonderment at a mud pump. Sounds sexy, huh?

40-tons of surging steel, brass and aluminum designed to chug drilling mud down a hole at unimaginable pressures. The motor spins up to 1600 RPM, driving three pistons at rates of up to 106 cycles per minute.

The machine runs so smoothly, you can balance a coin on one of the pump manifolds. Wirth recently licensed its pump technology to a manufacturer in Louisiana, so the German technology is being assembled in America, close to the epicenter of the offshore exploration operations in the US.

Across the aisle was a model of a drilling rig, showing where these hefty pumps would be utilized. Such an intricate model, too. In fact, if it weren’t for people standing in the background, you’d swear you were looking at the real thing. Or you’d landed on Gulliver’s Island.

All the movers and shakers in the energy biz are here. Oil guru Matt Simmons joined Daniel Frishberg on his show, and Del Walmsley has been in his element, talking-up opportunity and optimism for an industry that frankly has been shunned until recently.

Things are changing in a big way, and this year’s OTC is indicative of that healthy trend.
More from the floor tomorrow.

I’ll see you in the morning on the Radio.

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