INDUSTRY LOOKS TO A BRIGHT YEAR AHEAD
Digitalisation, diversity and an increasing focus on natural gas emerged as key themes at this year’s conference and exhibition
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