SAOGE provides barometer of Saudi oil and gas market

SAOGE 2015Around 180 companies from 25 countries showcased their latest technologies and services at the seventh edition of the Saudi Arabia International Oil and Gas Exhibition (SAOGE), held at the Dhahran International Exhibitions Centre from 23-25 November 2015

Organised by IES Srl and Dhahran International Exhibitions Company, the show attracted leading industry players such as 3M, China Petroleum Technology & Development Company, Al Estagamah Global Group Trading & Contracting Co Ltd, Abdullah H. Al-Shuwayer Sons Group of Companies and Saudi Chemical, as well as smaller specialised companies. Approximately 60 per cent of participants were from the Kingdom itself.

The event was inaugurated by Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Batal, undersecretary of the Eastern Province, on behalf of HRH Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province.

Mohammed H. Al-Hussaini, CEO of Dhahran Expo, highlighted the role of focused exhibitions such as SAOGE in bringing together international companies with the latest technologies in the oil and gas industry, and expanding opportunities for development through partnerships and international agreements.

A broad spectrum of products and services were represented, from pumps and valves to inspection services and cutting edge robotics. Dräger’s new wireless gas detector and Midwam Edutainment’s interactive, virtual reality simulation training programmes, were just a couple of the innovative technologies on display.

The event represented a barometer of the state of the Kingdom’s oil and gas industry, with a prevailing feeling of a slowdown in business. Many companies reported that their order books were suffering as a result of the shelving and postponement of major projects, with suppliers being squeezed on costs. Companies with diverse portfolios, and those with a focus on maintenance and services, have not been affected as badly. Protecting assets and avoiding costly new expenditure is the order of the day, as many companies observed, with solutions that can help to reduce costs in demand.

Mohammed Zaki Ahmed, sales manager at Abdullah H. Al-Shuwayer Sons Group of Companies commented, “The market is not as good as before and companies are rethinking their investments. But if you’re in industrial services, you can survive.”

Despite the downturn, a number of companies at the show were looking to expand their presence in the Kingdom. International science-based company 3M is soon to open a Customer Experience Centre dedicated to the oil and gas sector in Dammam, while Sharjah-headquartered Unique Group, the an integrated subsea and offshore solution provider, is opening a new facility in Dammam in response to customer demand for products and support services to be provided locally.

Several companies new to the market found SAOGE an effective way of raising their profile and exploring the market potential, such as Greece-headquartered Atom Arabia, which recently entered the Saudi market and was encouraged by the interest shown at SAOGE in its heat treatment, blasting and NDT services.

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