In­dus­try ex­perts at the in­au­gu­ral GDA In­ter­na­tional Down­stream Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion 2018 agreed that in­no­va­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion should be at the core of all down­stream op­er­a­tions across the re­gion

Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East - - EVENT REVIEW -

Pan­el­lists from lead­ing stake­hold­ers such as KNPC, Saudi Aramco, Bapco, ADNOC Re­fin­ing, IHS Markit, Ax­ens, To­tal, World Pe­tro­leum Coun­cil, Mas­dar, ACWA Power, Shell Global So­lu­tions In­ter­na­tional, and other lead­ing down­stream play­ers in the re­gion, ad­dressed in­dus­try chal­lenges such as fu­ture of fu­els, en­ergy, mar­gins and the cru­cial topic of hu­man cap­i­tal ef­fi­ciency at the GDA In­ter­na­tional Down­stream Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion that took place dur­ing 23-25 Oc­to­ber 2018 at Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion & Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Manama.

The three-day event saw over 2,500 pro­fes­sion­als gather from more than 50 coun­tries to hear 200 tech­ni­cal speak­ers that cov­ered in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy, im­prove­ments, dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, in­te­gra­tion, and en­ergy. The GDA Con­fer­ence proved to be the lead­ing Mid­dle East strate­gic plat­form for down­stream pro­fes­sion­als to ad­dress busi­ness chal­lenges, share the best prac­tices and un­lock po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties through col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ships.

Striv­ing to­wards ex­cel­lence, this fo­rum suc­cess­fully achieved the aim of en­gag­ing re­gional and in­ter­na­tional stake­hold­ers across the busi­ness, academia and tech­nol­ogy providers to cap­i­talise on in­vest­ment, in­no­va­tion, and growth.

Un­der the theme of ‘To­wards a Com­pet­i­tive Down­stream through In­no­va­tion, Col­lab­o­ra­tion and Tech­nol­ogy’, the GDA Con­fer­ence 2018 opened with keynotes fea­tur­ing three speeches from Bakheet Al-rashidi, min­is­ter of oil and min­is­ter of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter, State of Kuwait; Shaikh Mo­hamed bin Khal­ifa Al Khal­ifa, min­is­ter of oil, King­dom of Bahrain; and Suleiman Al-bar­gan, vice pres­i­dent, do­mes­tic re­fin­ing and NGL frac­tion­a­tion, Saudi Aramco.

Engi­neers and tech­ni­cal ex­perts met un­der one roof to ad­dress, re­view and re­flect cur­rent trends, chal­lenges and delved into the best prac­tices other com­pa­nies were adapt­ing to stay rel­e­vant.

Au­di­ences were held cap­tive to a strong line-up of tech­ni­cal ses­sions that in­cluded top­ics such as cap­tur­ing max­i­mum value from bot­tom to bar­rel, up­grad­ing heavy oil strate­gies for im­proved re­fin­ery eco­nom­ics, us­ing big data an­a­lyt­ics to de­tect faults in chem­i­cal pro­cesses, new crude heater for bet­ter ef­fi­ciency, re­li­a­bil­ity and en­vi­ron­ment per­for­mance, de­mys­ti­fy­ing the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion chal­lenges to­wards a suc­cess­ful down­stream in­dus­try de­ploy­ment, and first in­dus­try ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence ap­pli­ca­tion in crude re­fin­ery, amongst many oth­ers.

The event also hosted the Lead­er­ship Ex­cel­lence for Women Awards and Sym­po­sium (LEWAS), GDA Techx­pe­ri­ence, and Youcheme – the Youth Ini­tia­tive. Each of th­ese ex­cit­ing par­al­lel events gath­ered mo­men­tum as it truly dis­played the com­ing to­gether of a rich ecosys­tem in the in­dus­try.

LEWAS, a co-lo­cated event of the GDA Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion 2018, recog­nised lead­ing women in the down­stream busi­ness in seven unique cat­e­gories. The win­ners were an­nounced at the GDA Gala Din­ner on 23 Oc­to­ber, rang­ing from academia, in­dus­try and be­yond.

Win­ners in each cat­e­gory were: aca­demic achieve­ment – Nouf Al­jabri, KAUST; aca­demic of dis­tinc­tion – Dr Rawa Al­jar­al­lah, Kuwait Uni­ver­sity; ris­ing star – Sarah Alamer, Saudi Aramco; lead­ing with ex­cel­lence – Alanood Alra­biah, Saudi Aramco, and Abeer Olayan, Saudi Aramco; woman of achieve­ment – Tayba Al Hashemi, ADNOC-ALYASAT; cor­po­rate cham­pion – Eyad Al­bas­rawi, Saudi Aramco; and cor­po­rate ex­cel­lence – ADNOC Off­shore.

A spe­cial award, LEWAS Leg­end, was pre­sented to Nabee­lah Al-tunisi. The highly suc­cess­ful sym­po­sium that was held on the fi­nal day saw a high cal­i­bre of pan­el­lists who dis­cussed is­sues in the down­stream in­dus­try, in­clud­ing a de­bate on to ‘quota or not to quota’; a pre­sen­ta­tion by the Supreme Coun­cil for Women by Dr Ra­nia Al-jurf and Saudi Aramco’s HR Leader, Reem Al Ghanim, a win­ning women’s panel – the op­por­tu­ni­ties women have found in the down­stream in­dus­try; and an open­ing key­note on the best prac­tices in re­cruit­ing, de­vel­op­ing and ad­vanc­ing women in the down­stream sec­tor.

The GDA Techx­pe­ri­ence was an in­ter­ac­tive work­shop hosted at the Gulf Down­stream As­so­ci­a­tion Plaza, which en­gaged visi­tors to 3D print their own spare part. Par­tic­i­pants got a chance to get be­hind the scene and built an EV3 TRACER robot with a tem­per­a­ture sen­sor to de­tect oil leaks and cold spots in pipes.

Fi­nally, the Youcheme Pro­gram, or­gan­ised by the Young Chem­i­cal Engi­neers at BCHEMME, was ded­i­cated to stu­dents and young pro­fes­sion­als to help them learn, net­work and be in­spired by suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sion­als to be ready for the work­place.

This year, the pro­gramme fea­tured panel dis­cus­sions with se­nior ex­ec­u­tives, work­shops de­liv­ered by renowned pro­fes­sional speak­ers such as Su­ley­man Oz­men, vice pres­i­dent – down­stream li­cens­ing (re­tired), Shell Global So­lu­tions In­ter­na­tional; Na­dia Al-ha­jji, deputy CEO, KIPIC; Hafedh Al Qassab, gen­eral man­ager, re­fin­ing, Bapco; and Dr Prof Riyadh Hamza, pres­i­dent, Uni­ver­sity of Bahrain.

“On be­half of Mid­dle East En­ergy Events (ME3), the event man­age­ment com­pany for the GDA Con­fer­ence & Ex­hi­bi­tion re­cently held in the King­dom of Bahrain, I would like to thank His Royal High­ness Prince Khal­ifa bin Sal­man Al Khal­ifa, Prime Min­is­ter, the King­dom of Bahrain for the event pa­tron­age,” said Alexis Neron-ban­cel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, ME3

“I wish to also ex­press our grat­i­tude to both Shaikh Mo­hamed bin Khal­ifa Al Khal­ifa, min­is­ter of oil, King­dom of Bahrain, and Bakheet Al-rashidi, min­is­ter of oil and min­is­ter of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter, State of Kuwait, for at­tend­ing the open­ing cer­e­monies,” added Neron-ban­cel.

“The Gulf Down­stream As­so­ci­a­tion un­der the su­per­vi­sion of its board mem­bers and the lead­er­ship of Sule­man A Al Bar­gan, GDA 2018 Con­fer­ence chair­man and vice pres­i­dent, Saudi Aramco, cre­ated the ideal mem­ber­ship plat­form and pro­vided un­lim­ited sup­port, al­low­ing our team to de­liver a world-class meet­ing.”

The GDA Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion 2018 was held un­der the pa­tron­age of Prince Khal­ifa bin Sal­man Al Khal­ifa, Prime Min­is­ter, King­dom of Bahrain, and was opened by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Shaikh Ali bin Khal­ifa Al Khal­ifa.

The Gulf Down­stream As­so­ci­a­tion (GDA) was founded by Saudi Aramco, Bahrain Pe­tro­leum Com­pany (Bapco), Kuwait Pe­tro­leum In­ter­na­tional (KPI), Kuwait Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Com­pany (KNPC) and Abu Dhabi Na­tional Oil Com­pany (ADNOC), as a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that aims at ex­chang­ing in­for­ma­tion, ex­pe­ri­ences, and out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal prac­tices, and rais­ing the ef­fi­ciency of em­ploy­ees in the sec­tor of re­fin­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and as­so­ci­ated fa­cil­i­ties, as well as con­tribut­ing to the eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment of the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) coun­tries.

His Ex­cel­lency Shaikh bin Khal­ifa al Khal­ifa, min­is­ter of oil, King­dom of Bahrain (sec­ond from left), Abdulaziz M Al-ju­daimi, se­nior vice pres­i­dent, down­stream, Saudi Aramco (third from right), and Sule­man A Al Bar­gan, chair­man of the GDA Con­fer­ence, among the key­note speak­ers of the LEWA Sym­po­sium, held on the third of the GDA Con­fer­ence.

The GDA Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion was of­fi­cially opened by His High­ness Shaikh Ali bin Khal­ifa Al Khal­ifa, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of the King­dom of Bahrain.

Over 200 tech­ni­cal speak­ers ex­changed ideas and shared their knowl­edge dur­ing the three days of the con­fer­ence.

The GDA Ex­hi­bi­tion saw the pres­ence of the lead­ing down­stream com­pa­nies in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Saudi Aramco, KNPC, Bapco, Honey­well, Shell, Yoko­gawa, KBR Tech­nol­ogy, Ax­ens and Wood, to name a few.

The GDA Con­fer­ence Youth Pro­gram – Youcheme – pow­ered by Bcheme, the Bahrain Chem­i­cal Engi­neers As­so­ci­a­tion, and de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the Uni­ver­sity of Bahrain, saw the pres­ence of over 300 young pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents.

The GDA Plaza on the ex­hi­bi­tion floor fea­tured a work­shop on robotics.

The first edi­tion of the GDA Con­fer­ence was at­tended by over 2,500 par­tic­i­pants.

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