MEOS 2019 puts the focus on resilience

meosexhibition‘Resilience through Talent and Technology Transformation’ was the theme of the 21st edition of the SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS 2019), which took place from 18-21 March at the Bahrain National Exhibition and Convention Centre

More than 8,500 visitors are estimated to have attended the event, with attendance on the first day of the exhibition up by 18 per cent over the previous edition, according to the organisers.

The event kicked off with a packed opening ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which was addressed by HE Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Oil Minister, Waleed Al Mulhim, MEOS 2019 co-chairman and Saudi Aramco’s chief petroleum engineer, and Sami Alnuaim, 2019 president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). They highlighted the role of the MEOS conference, now in its fortieth year, as the region’s pre-eminent technical knowledge sharing platform.

The Oil Minister updated the gathering on the progress of Bahrain’s new offshore oil and gas find, estimated to amount to around 80bn bbl tight oil and gas. Seismic studies have yielded promising results. Bahrain is talking to international partners and in particular US oil companies with a view to benefiting from their expertise in tight gas and unconventionals. The Minister highlighted opportunities for co-operation with Bahrain’s neighbours and raised the possibility for a GCC gas grid. Bahrain is also looking to sign a concession agreement with Eni for offshore oil exploration, he said.

“We have amazing geology and you’ve been exploiting it well,” he said. “The world is talking about the lack of investment in the last four to five years. We need to do more, and it is in your good hands. The era of cheap oil is over. What remains is the more difficult oil and the tight gas resources.”

Waleed Al-Muhim said, “MEOS provides an opportunity looking beyond the industry; focusing on collaboration with business, educational institutions, government and society. We need joint development of new technologies that will increase discovery and recovery, reduce cost, enhance safety and protect the environment.”

Sami Alnuaim stressed that the Middle East will remain the “powerhouse of the world’s oil and gas industry”, with vast proven resources and promising new discoveries. Introducing some of the conference themes, he highlighted the role of digitalisation and elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as essential tools to drive continuous improvements in safety, cost, efficiency and competitiveness. He also stressed the role of oil and gas in the energy transformation and efforts to tackle the climate change challenge. Saudi Aramco, for example, has the lowest carbon intensity in its upstream and downstream operations, has achieved near-zero flaring and is piloting carbon capture initiatives, as well as exploring aspects of the circular economy, such as converting plastics back to feedstock.

The opening ceremony concluded with the MEOS 2019 Energy Awards, a brand new initiative recognising achievement across the five categories.

The MEOS conference focused on the challenges the oil and gas industry faces in meeting world energy demand efficiently, safely and responsibly with minimal cost to the environment, and explored the opportunities to harness the many emerging solutions available, with a particular focus on Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.

At the opening executive plenary session on ‘Resilience of the Future – how can we achieve resilience in the coming years?’ presidents and CEOs from Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, BHGE ad Eni reflected on resilience in the future from both operator and service company perspectives.

Other conference highlights included a keynote industry session exploring how the oil and gas sector is adapting to demands for cleaner technologies and energy sources, and a workshop sharing best practices to support cultural transformation and build a diverse workplace.

Busy exhibition floor

The MEOS exhibition was inaugurated on 19 March by Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, who stressed the importance the Bahrain government attaches to upgrading the oil industry and investing in the latest technologies to maximise the returns to the economy.

More than 200 exhibitors from 25 countries showcased their products and technologies on the busy exhibition floor, with innovative new products on display ranging from BHGE’s methane monitoring platform, LUMEN, to Hammertech’s low-cost water fraction and salinity measurement meter and hunting’s organic oil recovery process.

Saudi Aramco’s stand was particularly impressive, featuring game-changing technologies such as its Spicerack AUV, a fully automated seismic data acquisition system, which is due to be piloted in the Red Sea.

Exhibitors were positive about the opportunities in the region and the quality of visitors to their stands.

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