While at the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference, Motley Fool's energy bureau chief, Joel South, visited 3M's (NYSE:MMM) innovation lab. There, Joel interviewed Clara Mata, an advanced product development specialist, and Jeff Lavers, vice president and general manager of 3M oil and gas. While most consumers think of tape and office supplies when they hear 3M, the company has expanded in many industries within recent years that might have investors salivating. In 2012, 3M developed the Mining, Oil, and Gas solutions division that showcases products available to the industry and applies new technologies to protect critical assets and workers and increase productivity.

In the interview, Joel investigates some of the applications of a new 3M innovation -- that of glass bubbles. While glass bubbles have helped in many industries, Mata focuses on how 3M can apply this technology in cementing wells and drilling muds. Lavers explores how 3M has differentiated itself in glass bubbles because of the company's ability to control and extend the innovation. 

Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.