The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held last week in Houston showcased some of the newest technology for the oilpatch, but investors looking for the next big thing will have to wait at least three to five years before any of the touted innovations make their mark, Raymond James & Associates energy analysts said in a report Monday.

More than 67,000 people from more than 30 countries descended on Houston in the largest OTC attendance since 1982, and the crowds and a growing group of exhibitors indicated "the healthy state of a growing business," said analysts J. Marshall Adkins and Collin Gerry.

"We believe this is evidence of the view from most in the oilpatch that activity levels will continue to move higher over the next several years," Adkins and Gerry noted.

The Raymond James analysts said they drew several conclusions from the show:

Investors looking for the next big investment theme would have been disappointed, the analysts wrote. "The fact is that most of the new technologies highlighted at the OTC will have little meaningful earnings impact on our companies over the next two years. However, the results will come eventually."

Some of the most interesting technology continues to be in data transmission between downhole conditions and the rig floor and a remote drill site and central operating location. Through this technology, an operator may monitor a well's progress from corporate headquarters instead of having to be on the drill site, whether it's on- or offshore.

"All in," the analysts said, "the conference highlighted the fact that a continued focus on increased efficiency through technological advances from the wellbore all the way up to the rig floor continues to be the future for satisfying the world's growing energy appetite."

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