Professionals from around the world flock to Houston for Offshore Technology Conference

HOUSTON

It is the World Series of the offshore drilling industry. The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) brings together companies and dignitaries from all over the world. Companies showcase their latest inventions to make the industry safer, more profitable and more eco-friendly. Experts say what's being showcased is the result of the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion three years ago.

"The day after the Maconda well blew up, the investors said 'no more.' Took this long to get the science online," said Rick Slemaker with Energy Magazine Publisher.

Corporations are investing in equipment such as a device called The Neptune -- a scanner for deep-water pipelines made by Houston-based Oceaneering.

"It's kind of like a CT scan that opens; it goes along the pipeline and scans it and makes sure if there are any imperfections and if there is that gets reported back," said Alistair Pereira with Oceaneering.

Remotely operated devices, or ROVs, are another hot item. These deep-diving robots can perform complicated tasks at a depth of 12,000 feet. They can even pick up trash that would otherwise pollute the ocean.

"An analogy of that would be if you're flying on an airplane and you're looking down, you can see the house, get the bottle and pour it on something," Pereira said.

Governor Perry spoke at the conference and discussed why new technology is more important now than ever before to bring business back to the Gulf Coast and keep it from moving elsewhere.

"Today, energy exploration in the Gulf is safer for our operators and our environment than ever before. Technological and procedural advances have opened up huge sources of energy, giving us the capability to reach vast stores of energy reserves previously thought untouchable," Gov. Perry said. "With every step forward, we move closer to the day when our nation can reach true energy independence and end our crippling dependence upon foreign regimes to meet our needs."

The governor also highlighted the importance of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes both traditional and renewable energy sources, including solar, wind and biomass.

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