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Insight article

Hotspot Launching Pearl A Madrid Diary

1 Jan 2023

By Leedert CombeePrincipal Geophysicist

"Welcome to Pearl" - three words that continue to resonate after the launch event of Pearl in Madrid in June: it was the ultimate moment when our CTO Massimo Virgilio finally called four Pearl nodes to the stage, carried with grace through the central aisle of the event hall and onto the podium. Everyone went silent in amazement, and with a chill of emotion running up everyone"s spine. A moment that remains deep rooted in our memory but is difficult to capture in words.

To understand the meaning of it all, I need to spool back to the beginning, long before anyone realized it would become as big as it did. As everyone knows by now, Pearl is the new gem in the Shearwater OBN strategy. The first concept sketches were born in early 2019, but at that time no-one could even remotely imagine the lasting aesthetic appeal of the Pearl design. Three years and lots of hard work later Pearl was finally ready to be unveiled to our customers. When you first see Pearl, you realize immediately that it is something special, something truly emotional reflecting the values and identity of Shearwater.

Now fast forward to early May and four weeks until launch: The preparation team in marketing is buzzing, an infinite number of things have to be arranged, coordinated, scheduled, prepared. Registration for the event has just opened a week earlier. "Maria, how many registrations did we already receive?" – Maria Harrington is at the center of it all. "Oh, and by the way, next week a film crew will visit the Oslo Centre to capture scenes for a short movie, please can you fix it". It was then I got seriously involved in the launch: close to 3 days of filming preparations, getting props and people ready, and the famous scene wading into the fjord outside our office, launching a Pearl node into the water. I did get a little wet, but boy was it worth it. A small step for man, a giant leap for Shearwater. Since then they call me Waderman. I can live with that one, at least this year. Shortly after, the time had come to prepare and ship four Pearl nodes for the event. I call them "my babies".

Little could I have imagined that our clients would go "bananas" once they were given the opportunity to feel, touch, hold, try, and look at the Pearl nodes shortly after they were unveiled on stage. The whole experience was beyond ecstatic: clients were just short of "fighting" – and I really mean this! - for a first-hand experience of the future of OBN seismic. It was the moment that you realize that the launch event had surpassed itself and that absolutely everyone could be proud of being part of all that Pearl and Shearwater stands for.

Following the launch event, hurdle one was to get the four nodes back to Oslo. Four Pearl nodes fitted perfectly in a makeshift carry-around carton box originally containing coffee served on the booth – try that with any other node on the market. I got some strange looks, but hey it worked! In order to get the nodes on their way home we had to mix in a good dose of Spanish and lots of Madrid heat, but we succeeded. 

And for me: I am back in the office, with my four babies, my waders, and doing my part in keeping up the much-needed pace to deliver Pearl to our clients. And as I a write these words, I think of the fantastic people in the Pearl team that put concepts into a reality. And I think of all the wonderful colleagues from Shearwater that I had the opportunity to get to know so much better during the whole launch event. It makes me feel proud, and so much stronger as a team.

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