With over 140,000 trade visitors and 10,400 conference delegates, The Abu Dhabi International Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) is described as the “world’s most influential oil and gas exhibition”. During November, Abu Dhabi was the home of ADIPEC, a multi-disciplinary conference, visited by international and regional oil and gas professionals, who are involved in both the technical and non-technical functions within the industry.
In this blog we look at three key themes and discussions that emerged from the event, and what the industry plans to achieve over the next 12 months to ensure a secure future.
Photo credit: adipec.comDIGITALISATION
The movement towards digitalisation in the oil and gas sector has been a reoccurring subject in industry news, particularly over the past 12 months, so it’s no surprise that it was a prominent theme at the conference.
According to McKinsey, an international consulting firm, digitalisation has recently become a top trend driving c-suite decision making within the industry. McKinsey also predicts that a range of interconnected emerging technologies could unlock a potential US$50bn in savings and increased profit for oil companies.
During the conference, there was a focus on the advancement of artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, sensor technology, machine learning, deep learning and edge computing to drive the oil and gas industry.
“Digitalisation is an urgent priority for industry CEOs and business leaders, offering cost savings, operational improvements, and safety and environmental gains that will reach into every corner of the business, but the opportunities come with risks that must be understood and navigated.” - Jean-Philippe Cossé, vice-president for Energy at dmg events, which organises ADIPEC.
ADIPEC responded to industry demand by introducing a new ‘digitalisation in energy zone’. The exhibition space, supported by tutorials and conference sessions and spanning both the exhibition halls, was set up to help visitors understand how digitalisation can transform the performance of their assets. “What we observe is that while executives might name one area as most affected by digitalisation, they also tell us that every aspect of oil and gas operations will see some degree of change,” added Cossé.
efficiency & integration
Using integration to improve efficiency was another topic in focus at ADIPEC. Experts shared their strategies for improving operations and reducing costs - advice which continues to be well received as companies bounce back from the industry downturn. Increasing efficiency through integration is a theme which goes hand in hand with digitalisation, as demonstrated by the Global Business Leaders panel titled ‘Creating forward-thinking strategies, supporting upstream operations and market diversification’. The key messages shared by experts on the panel included integrating business units to gain operational efficiency and digital standardisation.
“In production, we want to make a more profitable upstream and we’ve really thought about how to move an already efficient operation one step beyond.” - Abdulmunim Al Kindy, Director, Upstream Directorate, ADNOC.
He continued; “some of the assets being managed are super giant; today the Zakhum field is the largest reservoir offshore in the world. And we’ve made significant savings on our operational cost.” Kindy was referring to companies that ADNOC merged, which were giants in their own rights, resulting in ADNOC Offshore now having the capacity and flexibility to better meet changing market demands, take advantage of emerging opportunities for future growth, and maximize value for their shareholders.
The President & CEO of INPEX Corporation said his company, which is working on Abu Dhabi offshore projects, is looking to integrate Upper Zakhum and Lower Zakhum by drilling from upper to lower to contribute to efficiency for ADNOC’s upstream gas project.
ADNOC also generated discussion around how they can transform a company from basic drilling experience to an integrated drilling services company and how to do it in the quickest and most efficient way. It was identified that high CAPEX is going to be stretched on upstream and downstream parallel operations.
The CEO of one company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), outlined that their approach to increasing efficiency and keeping CAPEX to a minimum was to focus on increasing production from ageing oilfield assets.
Other challenges that will need to be addressed, such as engineering experience, were also highlighted. During the downturn, operators and service companies lost a lot of experience as people moved to other industries or retired. There is now an increasing pressure to influence the next generation of engineers and deal with the skills shortage, without increasing cost, in order to remain competitive. This leads to the next theme of building an inclusive and diverse workforce.
inclusion & diversity for a secure future
As part of the wider strategic conference, sessions focusing on inclusion and diversity were held, bringing together advocates, industry leaders and decision makers. In a sector with an ageing workforce, the conference highlighted the importance of creating an implementable agenda to shape an inclusive and diverse oil and gas industry of the future.
The ADIPEC strategic brochure outlined that whilst inclusion and diversity appear to be a high priority on everyone’s agenda, reports suggest very little progress has been made; not just in the oil and gas sector but across all industries globally. To help address some of the issues that the industry is facing, sessions focused on: merging perspectives, broader debates, and encouraging improved decision making; championing diversity in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths; exploring intellectual biases in recruitment; and closing the wide perception gaps between men and women regarding gender-related challenges.
The overarching objective of the discussions was to drive growth and collaboration through generational and cultural differences by using powerful inclusion and diversity initiatives. The six inclusion and diversity in energy sessions, focused specifically on engaging conversations to inspire, change and put forward solutions towards building a diverse and female-inclusive oil and gas industry.
“The UAE is a melting pot of cultures with over 200 nationalities calling it home. The oil and gas sector is a major driver of the UAE – and many oil producers’- economy. It is only natural that the oil and gas industry should harness the magnitude of talent that is flowing into the country and the industry. ADIPEC’s Inclusion and Diversity in Energy is of paramount importance to bring everyone together and direct change.” - Omar Ahmed Al Qurashi, Director – Corporate Communications & General Services, Supreme Council of Energy & 2018 Inclusion & Diversity in Energy Advisory Board Member.
ALIGNING TO KEY THEMES
Claxton attended ADIPEC and linked up with other Acteon companies, who were exhibiting at the event, to network with clients and keep up to date with industry trends.
Claxton and parent company Acteon are aligned with the key trends identified and are actively addressing the current industry challenges, whilst focusing on growth. Whilst we define our unique offering as one that considers best practice that can be applied at different stages of the lifecycle of an asset, we are also able to draw from across the Acteon group of companies and third-party partnerships to deliver full service offerings.
Looking at the bigger picture, Acteon brings together expertise from across the group of operating companies to deliver integrated solutions and increase efficiency for clients. Integrated solutions can simplify the interface between Acteon and clients that need more than one of its operating companies’ products or services to address their subsea challenges, whatever their scale and complexity.
In relation to the trends discussed at ADIPEC, Claxton also continues to influence the next generation of engineers through the STEM Ambassador programme and working with educational establishments, particularly the University of East Anglia.