Key Insights from OTC Houston – here is what we heard

By Alan Souza, Regional Sales Manager - Americas, Tube Division

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas is an important yearly event for us. It is where the world's energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. This year we had a great show discussing our alloy knowledge with customers, networking, and talking about the very latest industry trends on our busy booth.

We showcased a wide range of products including umbilical tubes, OCTG tubing, control lines and more. We also gathered important insights at OTC and thought we’d share with you some of the key takeaways.

Sandvik Materials Technology to become Alleima

Not surprisingly, this was a big topic of conversation on our booth. We recently announced Sandvik Materials Technology is to be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm on August 31 and will be renamed and rebranded as Alleima on the day of listing. Alleima will continue to develop its position as a market leader for advanced materials and will capitalize on growing market trends playing in our favor, such as the transition towards more sustainable energy sources, energy efficiency and electrification to name a few. The aim is to grow Alleima in several high-growth segments such as hydrogen and renewable energy, industrial heating, and the chemical and petrochemical segment.

Increased demand needs total transparency

Global economic growth after two years of the pandemic, enhanced by geopolitical events, has triggered a rapid rise in oil and gas prices and extreme market volatility.

High commodity prices mean some projects that were shelved when prices were lower are being reactivated as activity and investment resume once again.

At Sandvik Materials Technology this translates into high demand for all our products - especially for our ultra-robust and corrosion-resistant umbilical tubes made from SAF 2507® super duplex stainless steel.

In the Americas, demand for umbilical tubes is being driven by increased activity offshore Brazil as well as some interesting HPHT projects in the Gulf of Mexico. We’re providing tubing and support for the giant Mero and Buzios fields. As a result, we’re increasing production to supply rising orders.

However, while the return to production is good news for all of us, an industry suddenly back in full swing creates potential supply chain challenges in the availability of materials and lead times.

At OTC, there was lots of discussion about the need for customers to place orders as soon as possible and for providers to be transparent with their customers about lead times. Understanding both sides is key to building trust and maintaining relationships.

OCTG for Extreme Applications

With the industry looking to exploit ever more challenging locations, having oil country tubular goods (OCTG) materials that can withstand harsh environments is increasingly important. We offer a variety of OCTG grades which includes the highly alloyed austenitic stainless steels Sanicro® 29 and Sanicro® 28 which are excellent for use in corrosive, high temperature environments. Sanicro® 42 and Sanicro® 48 are austenitic nickel-based alloys that are also good for highly corrosive OCTG downhole applications with excellent resistance to sulfide stress cracking and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in chloride and sour (H2S/Cl) environments.

At OTC, there was lots of interest in our control line calculator which streamlines the order process and estimates the highest permissible internal pressure for control lines of certain sizes and Sandvik grades. The control line calculator enables you to update or change the parameters as many times as you like on your preferred device 24/7. Based on your inputs, the available material grades will be displayed along with their internal yield pressure (psi) and burst pressure (psi). Once you have explored your options, you can use the provided links to find out more about each material grade or reach out to your sales contact for additional information.

Oil isn’t the only commodity that’s experienced a price rise in recent months – steel and nickel prices are also experiencing high volatility - so it’s important to ensure complete clarity in contracts and clauses.

More Focus on Renewable Energy

Fossil fuel shortages and concerns over the security of energy supply have increased the growing attention on renewable energy. The importance of technological advancements for new and existing energy sources was recognized at OTC, which had an Energy Transition Pavilion for the first time this year.

As a responsible materials producer, we’re committed to using engineering and innovation to make the shift towards more sustainable business. We’re actively supporting wind, solar, and geothermal projects around the world and are exploring ways to increase our commitment to the renewable energy sector.

The introduction of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for oil country tubular goods (OCTGs) means we’ll be able to identify the footprint of a product from melt all the way through the lifecycle. We’re currently working with a customer on an EPD project and hope to share the results with you.

The growth and potential for opportunities in the geothermal and carbon capture sectors were key discussion points at OTC. We have a wide range of alloys suitable for geothermal energy including duplex stainless steels, high-alloyed austenitic stainless steels, and nickel alloys. Products include production tubing and casing, heat exchanger tubing, and coiled tubing for injection lines.

We’ve shared our key takeaways from the show, but what were yours?

Our team of experts are ready to help with your material challenges. Contact our team today.