Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, diver­sity and an in­creas­ing fo­cus on nat­u­ral gas emerged as key themes at this year’s con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion

Oil & Gas Middle East - - FRONT PAGE -

This year, the Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional Petroleum Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence (ADIPEC) was de­fined by am­bi­tion. With 15 halls, 2,200 ex­hibitors and scores of vis­i­tors, the con­fer­ence was am­bi­tious it­self, but it was sim­ply the back­drop for in­dus­try lead­ers to show­case their achieve­ments and make clear their plans for the com­ing year.

It was an im­pres­sive sight and the over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive mood at the con­fer­ence was a strong in­di­ca­tion that in­dus­try lead­ers and de­ci­sion­mak­ers are look­ing ahead to a year of growth and de­vel­op­ment.

One has only to look at ADIPEC’S host, ADNOC, to see am­bi­tion. The com­pany re­cently an­nounced its plans for a $132bn capex un­til 2023 and plans to hit 4mn bar­rels per day (bpd) of pro­duc­tion by 2020, and com­pany CEO Sul­tan Al Jaber dis­played strong con­fi­dence for the com­ing years, em­pha­sis­ing the role that dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy would play in the in­dus­try.

“We are at the cusp of a new age of op­por­tu­nity for our in­dus­try, an era in which dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion is de­liv­er­ing un­prece­dented lev­els of progress,” Al Jaber said in his key­note speech. “This era, known as the 4th In­dus­trial Age, is cre­at­ing a par­a­digm shift in global growth and driv­ing de­mand for our prod­ucts. Our in­dus­try must step up to en­able this mas­sive step-change in global de­vel­op­ment.

“In short,” he added, “this mis­sion can be given a sim­ple name: Oil and Gas 4.0.”

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion was in­deed a key fo­cus at

ADIPEC, with a ded­i­cated dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion zone and many in­no­va­tive star­tups show­cas­ing new so­lu­tions to in­dus­try chal­lenges. Walk­ing around the halls, many stands fea­tured vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity demon­stra­tions, and even holo­graphic dis­plays.

ADIPEC also high­lighted the im­por­tance of diver­sity through its In­clu­sion & Diver­sity in En­ergy Con­fer­ence, which had oil and gas pro­fes­sion­als dis­cuss the need for greater in­clu­sion across the in­dus­try.

“We have made enor­mous progress, but we still have a long way to go,” said Mae Al Mozaini, man­ager of reg­u­la­tory af­fairs at Saudi Aramco. “Women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion is es­sen­tial to en­sur­ing oil and gas has enough tal­ent to drive growth in the com­ing years. This is why we need to fo­cus on ‘in­clu­sion’. By re­mov­ing those bar­ri­ers that many women face in the work­force, of­ten in very subtle ways, to bring more op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in the in­dus­try.”

Youth were not left out of the con­fer­ence; un­der the pa­tron­age of the UAE Min­is­ter of Tol­er­ance Sheikh Na­hayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, the Young ADIPEC pro­gramme saw 600 high school stu­dents gain first-hand knowl­edge about po­ten­tial ca­reer op­tions in the oil and gas sec­tor.

But the con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion is also a place to do busi­ness and make deals. Among the largest deals made were ADNOC and Saudi Aramco’s agree­ment to co­op­er­ate on nat­u­ral gas and LNG de­vel­op­ment and Eni’s ac­qui­si­tion of a 25% stake in the Ghasha Con­ces­sion from ADNOC.

With the con­fer­ence di­rectly fol­low­ing an OPECNON-OPEC Joint Min­is­te­rial Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee meet­ing about the out­look for sup­ply and de­mand in 2019, and the re­cent reim­po­si­tion of US sanc­tions against Iran, it was dif­fi­cult to tell what to ex­pect head­ing into the con­fer­ence.

But ADIPEC proved that although com­pa­nies re­main pru­dent in the wake of the in­dus­try down­turn, they see a bright fu­ture ahead, marked by in­no­va­tion.

That means mak­ing the right hir­ing choices to bring more in­no­va­tors into the oil and gas sec­tor, us­ing in­no­va­tion to adapt to a tran­si­tion­ing en­ergy mix, lever­ag­ing trans­for­ma­tional tech­nol­ogy and, ul­ti­mately, in­no­vat­ing to re­main com­pet­i­tive in high and low oil price en­vi­ron­ments alike.

ADIPEC is a land­mark in­dus­try event that gath­ers de­ci­sion-mak­ers from around the globe.

Com­pa­nies show­cased their prod­ucts and ser­vices

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