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When:  Oct 8, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (CT)
Where:   SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, US

When & Where

SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX

Oct 8, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (CT)


Disruption to Deployment: Drilling Technologies for Automation and Prediction

Innovation as driver of the adoption of automation and the reduction of uncertainty.

DSATS, SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section, is holding a half-day symposium focusing on innovation as a driver of automation uptake and reduction of drilling uncertainty.  How can radical ideas be successfully brought to market?  Often, the disruptive ideas required to move industries forward come from the smallest players or have the weakest signals.  Innovation is not the invention but the introduction of something new, and this is only possible with the availability of funding at the key early stages.

The highlight of the event will see a number of experts in their fields address the routes to funding and to market for small, inventive companies in the arena of drilling automation and/or the reduction of drilling uncertainty.  Their short presentations will be followed by a panel session where they can address questions from the audience. 

The 2017 DSATS symposium will also feature updates from both this year’s edition of the annual Drillbotics competition, and an introduction to SPE’s Drilling Uncertainty Prediction Technical Section (DUPTS) who will join the event as an affiliate organization. 

Agenda is as follows:

1:00pm to 5:00pm – Symposium in Hemisfair Ballroom C1, Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center

1:00pm                  Introductions and update on DSATS activities – Moray Laing, Halliburton (Chairman DSATS)

1:30pm                  Drillbotics highlights – Nii Nunoo, NOV, will moderate a short discussion where students representing a number of this year’s teams discuss what they learned from the project, good and bad.

2:10pm                 Introduction to DUPTS – Bill Chmela, Motive Drilling Technologies

2:30pm                  Break

2:45pm                  “Disruption to Deployment” panel presentations – 10 minutes per panelist:

  • Tom Bates, Chairman of the Board, Independence Contract Drilling and Partner, 4D Global Energy Advisors will ask the question: “how do you get paid for innovation?”
  • Espen Strom, Investment Director with Energy Ventures, will describe what Private Equity investors look for in a potential technology company and how this has changed since the downturn in 2014. He will give pointers on ways innovators can make themselves more attractive to investors.
  • Todd Benson, President and CEO of Motive Drilling Technologies, will describe Motive’s successful experience with multiple investors.
  • David Blacklaw, Shell Global Drilling Automation Lead, will discuss his personal experience with funding for technology innovation and also describe Shell’s current investment philosophies.
  • Andrew Bruce, DataGumbo, will talk about his experience bootstrapping an innovative company in the current investment environment.

3:35pm                  Break

3:45pm                  Panel session moderated by Robin McMillan, Senior Vice President at NOV, Chairman IADC ART

5:00pm                  Move to networking reception

5:00pm to 7:00pm – Networking Reception at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Travis CD


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