Nearly 3,000 exhibitors and 104,000 people, including energy company chief executives and oil ministers, attended last week's offshore conference in Houston.
3M oil and gas division General Manager Jeffrey Lavers told energy website Rigzone after the event that industry leaders were looking to get at oil at hard-to-reach places.
"Just the basic pressure and force of going that deep in the water, from an engineering standpoint, changes a lot of dynamics of the project," he said. "It's a much more challenging environment in a host of different ways, primarily just because of the heat and the pressure."
Exxon Mobil and Norwegian energy company Statoil said last week they were examining a frontier field in the Gulf of Mexico said to hold 6 billion barrels of reserves. The Julia oil field, discovered in 2007, is more than 5 miles beneath the ocean's surface.
Industry leaders told Rigzone that service providers need to accommodate to the extreme conditions needed to make offshore exploration a success.