Exclusive Interview with Steven Henning of Total USA

Smithers Rapra: What are some of the biggest challenges in the industry?

Steven Henning: The obvious answer would be trying to understand where the price of oil is going, the impact of shale gas, and ultimately how do these trends determine the number of wells started.  However, for a polymer supplier the question evolves into how to best supply an industry with innovative materials while appreciating the performance/value balance.  A more important question, and one less tied to the present volatility, is what will be the needs of the industry in five or ten years from a materials selection standpoint, and how can we improve the image of the industry by introducing performance polymers and additives based on sustainable feedstocks, for example?  When will these bio-based materials become economically attractive, given the current trend in petroleum feedstock pricing?

Smithers Rapra: What are some of the most exciting innovations in the industry, right now?

Steven Henning: From a materials perspective, ongoing work in the field of supramolecular polymers may provide innovative solution for downhole oil and gas applications.  Self-healing properties, non-traditional rheological behaviors, changes in material behavior triggered by temperature, pH or other inputs, and the ability to facilitate easy recycling may all eventually translate to improved compounds and composites for industrial applications.  Such innovations, coupled with improvements in additive and filler technologies, should continue to increase material performance, which ultimately defines the scope of use for polymeric materials.

Smithers Rapra: Why is the High Performance Polymers for Oil & Gas conference so important to the opil & gas industry?

Steven Henning:  Any opportunity for material suppliers and manufacturers to meet and focus on aligning the needs for a specific industry is time well spent. 

Smithers Rapra: What do you hope conference attendees will learn from your presentation?

Steven Henning:  We do participate in the Oil and Gas industry as a materials supplier to the drilling fluid, downhole wire and cable, and pipe coatings vendors.  However, the environment in which we source our feedstocks is being impacted by the very trends in your industry that are a major topic – the pivot of domestic energy sourcing from traditional petroleum to shale gas.  We’d like shine a light on the situation and discuss ways innovation can help manage the impact on our traditional technologies.

Smithers Rapra: What are you most looking forwatd to at the conference this October?

Steven Henning:  Learning more about the industry and the specific needs driving material developments for the future.

Register today and join your colleagues, in Houston, the hub of the oil & gas industry!