Staples depicts ‘different kind of moonshot’ for Texas

New know-how enables drilling operators to locate raw materials more precisely, for example, making “dry holes” obsolete.   File photo

With next-generation technology and scientific research burgeoning in Texas, the phrase “Houston, the Eagle has landed” conveys many more levels of success now than originally meant in the famous NASA message from the moon.

In a recent op-ed in the Longview News-Journal, Texas Oil and Gas Association president Todd Staples remarked on the significant strides the Lone Star State has made since July 20, 1969.

“Texas has diversified tremendously in the nearly five decades since Johnson Space Center received those historic transmissions from space,” Staples said. “But it was a different kind of moonshot that first propelled Texas into the global spotlight.”

Staples pointed out how Texas universities now partner with the energy industry to examine potential technologies. In a state famous for its natural resources, industry stakeholders are developing innovative systems for channeling oil and gas from source to marketplace.

New know-how enables drilling operators to locate raw materials more precisely, for example, making “dry holes” obsolete; additionally, different industries are collaborating to produce more efficient methods for mapping and extraction.

“NASA isn’t just about putting women and men on Mars,” Staples said. “The state’s oil and natural gas producers use technology … drawn directly from techniques and systems that astronauts and NASA scientists employ in their work.”

He explained that collaboration between NASA and Texas oil and natural gas businesses — such as Anadarko, based in The Woodlands — have yielded a fiber-optic sensing system that helps to increase offshore drilling platform safety.  Additionally, Houston-based Glori Energy is utilizing microorganisms already present in oilfields to facilitate the extraction of crude oil, prolonging well life.

“Whether it’s partnerships like Apache and Rice University that are reducing carbon dioxide emissions or drones that Shell uses to safely and quickly inspect oil and natural gas field operations and refinery equipment, Texas’ energy sector is defining the future,” Staples said. “Technology — much of it birthed right here in Texas — has enabled the oil and natural gas industry to take many small steps for man, and several giant leaps for mankind.”

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