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Oil and gas industry leaders set out path to leaner, fitter future at ATCE

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Oilfield Technology,

SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE), began in Dubai on Monday, with 8000 oil and gas professionals expected to attend and contribute over the coming days.

Taking place from 26 - 28 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre, ATCE is hosted by ADNOC and is taking place under the patronage of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

A Middle East milestone

This year will be the first time that ATCE will be held in the Middle East in its 92 year history, a milestone touched upon by Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing:

"It is an honour to welcome the Society of Petroleum Engineers for their Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition to Dubai for the first time in the organisation’s history. This promises to be an exciting week and the city is proud to host an event that has fostered innovation in the industry and earned a reputation as a premier gathering of industry professionals worldwide."

Over the next three days, professionals from over 800 companies and 80 countries will gain valuable insights from high-profile industry leaders, get the latest updates from a comprehensive technical programme with over 500 papers discussed (that were carefully selected after a strong selection process from over 2100 submissions). Participants will also experience a showcase of leading-edge technology and innovations at the event’s exhibition.

On Monday's Opening Ceremony, delegates heard from Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Abdul Munim Saif Al Kindy, Director of Exploration Development and Production at ADNOC and Nathan Meehan, 2016 SPE President. After the Opening Ceremony, the exhibition was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The first of today’s two Plenary Sessions followed, in which global industry heavyweights from both operators (ADNOC, Saudi Aramco, Total, Gazprom and KPC) as well as service companies (the CEOs of Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Halliburton) discussed how the industry must transform to operate and thrive in the low oil price, low carbon age.

Reduction and shrinkage

Sentiment from across the panel was that the ingredients and capabilities to take the industry to the next level of performance already exist, but operators and service companies need to do a better job of listening to and understanding each other. By finding better ways of working together, with more of a focus on project outcomes, cost savings of 10 to 15% can be achieved in the short term - and perhaps as high as 50% in the long term.

Reduction and shrinkage were not the only watchwords however. The industry also needs to continue to invest and diversify, according to Nizar Mohammed Al-Adsani, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Kuwait Petroleum. For NOCs, there is also a responsibility to sustain and expand production, according to Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Director of the Gas Management Directorate at ADNOC.

Moving from the high-level strategic perspective in the morning, the second plenary session was a chance to look in more granular detail at the changes that companies are making to survive and restore competitiveness in the low oil price environment.

While the appetite to take on risk has dropped in the current price environment, panellists urged that the industry not become too risk averse. The key is balancing risk and reward, and also sharing risk more evenly among partners.

There was a general consensus among the panel that the big data collected across the industry could be better used than it is at present, particular given increased computing power and use of the cloud, to cut downtime, identify issues and trends and so on.

Collaboration between organisations is a hot topic, but just as critical is collaboration within organisations, according to panellist Vadim Yakovlev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board and First Deputy CEO at Gazprom. By looking at organisational structure, how teams are supported, specific skills within a company and so on, internal collaboration can also be improved.

Saudi Aramco and Shell are supporting the event as principal sponsors, alongside Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) as diamond sponsor and OiLSERV and Industrialisation & Energy Services Company (TAQA) as platinum sponsors.

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For more information on SPE ATCE, please go to:

Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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