ADIPEC 2015: World’s leading Oil & Gas Event Breaks Industry Records
By Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu
Described as the “world’s most influential oil and gas exhibition”, Abu Dhabi was the home of ADIPEC (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) in November which hosted over 90,000 attendees from around the world. With hundreds of panels, ministerial and technical sessions throughout the four-day-event, every detail of the oil and gas industry, present and future, was discussed by important industry experts.
In spite of the fall in the price of oil, the 2015 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) was a huge success. According to survey of participants by the organisers of the conference, more than US$9 billion deals were signed in the 4 days event.
The official opening ceremony featured intriguing speeches from H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, UAE, H.E. Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADNOC, Mr. Ali Khalifa Al Shamsi, Strategy and Coordination Director, ADNOC and ADIPEC 2015Chairman, followed by riveting insights and projections on the transforming energy landscape by keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Yergin, award winning author and world’s leading authority on energy.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, ADIPEC 2015 is supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), and is organised by DMG events.
Mr. Ali Khalifa Al Shamsi, Strategy and Coordination Director, ADNOC and ADIPEC 2015 Chairman, said: “ADIPEC has been an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s hydrocarbon industry since it was established in 1984, and has transformed over the years to become one of the world’s largest oil and gas events. With growing global recognition and interest from both major industry players, and emerging markets, ADIPEC will continue to raise Abu Dhabi’s profile as a global knowledge hub for the energy sector.”
Held under the theme “Innovation and Sustainability in a New Energy World”, ADIPEC 2015 marks its 18th edition by breaking its previous records with the largest event to date, bringing together 2,050 exhibiting companies, including the world’s leading national and international companies, more than 600 speakers, 7,000 delegates, and 85,000 attendees from more than 120 countries.
His Highness Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, formally inaugurated the largest ever Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), marking the start of four days of industry-related discussions and activities, and bringing together leading international and regional decision makers to set the agenda for meeting the growing global demand for energy.
- E. Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADNOC, said: “Industry leaders, decision makers, and stakeholders have all gathered in Abu Dhabi today to focus on innovation by using ADIPEC as a knowledge-sharing platform for driving industry change. Together, we can advance the energy sector and develop creative solutions for meeting the world’s energy needs. At ADNOC, through the guidance and support of the Supreme Petroleum Council, we are still on track to reach a total oil output capacity of 3.5 billion barrels per day in the UAE within the next two to three years.”
The Ministerial Panel brought together international ministers and decision makers who offered insights on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new energy landscape. Speakers included H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy, H.E. Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas for the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for the Arab Republic of Egypt, and H.E. Etienne D. Ngoubou, Minister of Petroleum and Hydrocarbons for the Gabonese Republic. The session focused on driving innovation, future sustainability prospects, the future energy mix, the role of technology in the energy sector, and offered global and regional viewpoints.
The first of two CEO Plenary Sessions that are being held at ADIPEC 2015 brought together chief executives from the world’s leading to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the ever-growing global demand in energy. Plenary speakers included representatives from ADCO, JOGMEG, STATOIL, and Lazard.
“Bringing together global, regional, and local industry leaders and decision makers to reflect on key industry topics, ADIPEC serves as a platform where innovation, best practice and latest developments are shared from all corners of the globe. ADIPEC has seen continuous growth over the years, in terms of both visitors, and global recognition, demonstrating the importance of the event in the energy industry,” said Christopher Hudson, President – Global Energy at DMG events.
There were a record number of companies represented at this year’s conference looking for business. And “when you look at the major oil and gas service providers here, Abu Dhabi is really contributing as a platform for such transactions”, said Saif Ahmed Alghfeli, a co-host of this year’s event and the chief executive of Al Hosn Gas, which develops the Shah gasfield in the west of the country.
A who’s who of the industry and exhibitors determined to gain the widest access to potential clients continue to mark ADIPEC as a permanent entry in their diaries. This year 2050 exhibitors took space at ADIPEC, well up on last year’s 1800. The US contingent was its largest-ever. ADIPEC’s largest-ever technical conference served to underline the hard work and close working relationship between the event, its organiser, dmg events, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, (SPE), with Christopher Hudson, President, dmg energy
“ADIPEC would not be ADIPEC without the SPE. Our partnership with SPE brings true meaning to the key tenets which the founding fathers of ADIPEC built the event upon – collaboration, cooperation, education, knowledge sharing, and, of course friendship.” Deals have been done, new contacts made, old ones reaffirmed, again showing the Abu Dhabi event is a place where things get done. Numerous exhibitors have signed off on deals for new business or to create fresh linkages. Total value of business is almost impossible to calculate. Sustainability and innovation were under the spotlight this year, which clearly resonated with everyone from oil ministers to the general public who packed the Conference Halls each day.
The event heralded a new ‘Women in Industry’ one day conference; a new Offshore & Marine conference, a 1st annual ADNOC Civil Projects Division (CPD) Project Management Forum and the 11th Annual Rig Owners Seminar, which is being hosted for the first time within ADIPEC. Natural gas is seen as the future by many and Mr Mazrouei noted, “natural gas is the cleanest form of energy.” The influential US keynote speaker Daniel Yergin is also a huge proponent of natural gas. He also stressed, “ADIPEC clearly demonstrates the leadership role Abu Dhabi plays in the oil industry.”
Nigeria had a large representation as well at this year’s event, the likes of Nigerian Petroleum Exchange, NIPEX- an arm of the NNPC, the Petroleum Association of Nigeria, PETAN; the Nigerian Gas Association, NGA; and a host of other individuals and private companies; these presented a ion at this year’s profound front for Nigeria as a nation.
Speaking about his impression of the event, the president of PETAN, Engr. Emeka Ene sam were quite impressed about the turn out of the event, in his words: ‘’we have seen an opportunity to engage, we have engaged in different levels, we have had several interesting meetings, there has been a very high interest in Nigerian booths specifically to ask how they can invest in Nigeria, and PETAN provides that safe landing spots, we have also had some opportunities for our members to invest in the region, so in that respect I will score the event high’’.
THE INDUSTRY IS IN TRANSITION
Indeed the 31st ADIPEC has probably been the most important in the event’s history as it provided a window on the industry’s most prolific region during testing times. This was underscored via an upbeat prognosis by UAE Minister of Energy, HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, who stressed that the UAE continues to carry out its plans to increase crude production to contribute towards stabilising global oil markets in addition to its plans to increase its refining capacity to meet increasing demand on derivatives; his very first words of the conference set the tone for the week as the United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazroui stated at the opening ceremony, “We are gathered at a very interesting time for the oil industry. At a time where confidence in the industry is beginning to grow again, Suhail Al Mazrouei stated how the importance for collaboration between the public and private sector could help to overcome the dip in oil prices. “Global crude oil prices have dropped… but that does not change the vision of the UAE and of the region to continue as suppliers to the world. We are not cancelling our projects. I am confident we will see in 2016 some improvement in the market.”
The Minister of Energy also stated the turmoil in world oil markets is an opportunity for countries to reform, as the UAE did by changing the way it calculates prices for transport fuel earlier this year – a move that saved AED9 billion in subsidies compared to last year’s budget, he believes that this transition should be embraced as an opportunity for companies and countries to reform and become more efficient, “I think there are lessons to be gained from (this) experience,” he said. “I hope it is the beginning of more reform.”
Speaking on the dwindling oil prices, the Minister had this to say: “As a member of OPEC the UAE is committed to fill shortages in global oil supplies should any member face trouble in maintaining production levels. “The market will determine sustainable oil prices. Supply and demand will enforce the price that is good for producers. Current data makes me optimistic enough to expect that in 2016 there will a gradual correction of prices.” Given market conditions, the eyes of the world were on ADIPEC, as a barometer of the industry, and the UAE Energy Minister took the opportunity to speak on oil production and the oil price. “Global crude oil prices have dropped by more than 50 per cent, but that does not change the vision of the UAE, and of the region to continue as suppliers to the world,” he said. “We are not cancelling projects. “I am confident we will see some market improvement in 2016. Don’t ask me how big – the market will decide that. Don’t ask me who will play a role – it will not be OPEC. Everybody has to play a role.”
BUSINESS IS STILL BOOMING
Continuing the positive atmosphere at the conference, ADIPEC organisers, DMG Events, calculated that US$9 billion worth of deals had been completed over the four days – up $1 billion on 2014. The statistics, which reflect the success of both the industry and the conference, were also only said to be only early estimates. Deals signed at ADIPEC this year topped US$9 billion, according to a survey of participants by the petroleum conference’s organisers. Chris Hudson, the head of energy events at DMG events, which runs the annual ADIPEC conference and exhibition, said the figure is an estimate based on a survey of the delegates in Abu Dhabi, where the number of visitors were on track to exceed 90,000. “Based on our early survey results and compared with last year, the total amount of deals signed at this year’s event will be more than $9 billion, and in our experience that doesn’t reflect the biggest deals,” he said.
“Based on early survey results and compared with last year, the total amount of deals signed at this year’s events will be more than $9 billion, and in our experience that doesn’t reflect the biggest deals,” Hudson explained.
Hudson said although not a precise tally of deal values, the survey is an indication of the relatively robust state of the oil industry in the region inspite of the oil price collapse over the past year. The tally from last year’s survey indicated deals of about $8bn in total were signed during the event.
While operators were said to be negotiating harder for products and services from the supply chain, the same companies were set to spend more money on their major strategy projects with industry specialists, making the Arabian Gulf one of the bright spots in the world, where investment in oilfield infrastructure has declined by between $150bn and $200bn in the past 12 months, according to The National.
SKILLS PIPELINE IS ESSENTIAL
A consistent issue within the oil and gas industry is the lack of talent in the skills pipeline, and this was highlighted again at ADIPEC 2015. To counteract the trend, the conference was home to various student initiatives designed to sustain and build the talent, especially in the United Arab Emirates.
The main initiative, ‘Young ADIPEC’, saw a 33% increase in student’s aged 14-17 taking part in events compared to last year. Special visits and competitions designed to encourage students to choose a career in the industry were arranged too. Speaking on the conference again, Head of Energy Events, Chris Hudson said, “Advancing the energy sector relies on recruiting professionals with the right skills mix, and this is more critical than ever in today’s evolving energy landscape”.
As part of the programme, students had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the industry in an attempt to grow the already impressive 17% of Emirati students who enrol on an engineering programme in their academic year.
12 MONTHS OF CHANGE
While the last 12 months have been a defining period in the global oil and gas industry, the same industry issues of ‘cost’, ‘business deals’ and ‘talent’ have remained the major talking points at ADIPEC – with ‘collaboration’ quickly becoming the new buzzword as the industry attempts to share and streamline.
The next 12 months are sure to bring further change as operators finalise their future strategies and decide whether to ‘stick or twist’ with their investment projects. ADIPEC typifies the ‘collaboration’ that is required to reform and reinvigorate the long term strategy of the industry – and many of the 90,000 attendees will hope that the positive feelings felt at the conference will find its way into the industry throughout the next 12 months.
ADIPEC is the global meeting point for oil and gas professionals. Standing as one of the world’s top three energy events, and the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, ADIPEC is a knowledge-sharing platform that enables industry experts to exchange ideas and information that shape the future of the energy sector.