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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Adnoc's gas master-plan and artificial intelligence to dominate Adipec 2018

The four-day event is one of the world’s largest oil and gas exhibitions. It will host more than 10,000 delegates and 2,200 exhibiting firms, including around 40 national oil companies

Exhibitors at Adipec 2017, which generated around $10.34 billion in business, say organisers. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
Exhibitors at Adipec 2017, which generated around $10.34 billion in business, say organisers. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

Global energy chiefs and ministers have arrived in the capital for the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec), amid an expected announcement of state-producer Adnoc’s gas strategy and an increased pivot downstream, as well as more focus on artificial intelligence.

The four-day event, which starts on Monday, is one of the world’s largest oil and gas exhibitions. It will host more than 10,000 delegates and 2,200 exhibiting firms, including around 40 national oil companies.

Following the fall in oil price and the search to maximise profit margins, NOCs have started prioritising the downstream segment of their energy value chains as much as the upstream, which has been the traditional focus at previous Adipec gatherings.

This year, there is an increased focus on how digitalisation, particularly automation and AI, can help national and international oil companies – operating on already lean budgets – maximise their efficiencies, upstream, midstream and downstream.

Adipec, which is estimated to have generated about $10.34 billion (Dh37.98bn) in business during last year’s conference and exhibition, is expected to top that figure this year, according to the organisers.

Day one of the oil and gas conference will start with ministerial sessions on the shifting dynamics of the global energy landscape and will be headlined by the ministers of top oil exporting states of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE, which holds the current presidency of Opec.

Ministers from other energy exporting nations such as Kuwait, Bahrain as well as Egypt, which has become a significant gas player, are likely to continue discussions on breaching frontiers in oil and gas.

Parallel to discussions by sovereign producers, chiefs of international oil companies such as BP, Eni, and East Asian players such as Petronas and CNPC, which have recently made inroads into the regional energy sector, will participate in global business leadership forums on widening collaboration, policy and globalisation.

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Adnoc, which plays host to the event, is set to elaborate on its new gas strategy, following its announcement last week that it had discovered 15 trillion cubic feet of gas, a 7.1 per cent addition to existing reserves, which has the potential to transform the UAE into a net gas exporter.

The unveiling of the strategy will take place on day three of Adipec, where Adnoc's upstream director Abdulmunim Al Kindy will discuss in-depth the state producer's gas masterplan. Further insight into Adnoc's downstream strategy announced at a global conference of energy chief executives in May will be discussed on the same day.

Other planned discussions at Adipec include financing and fast-tracking growth downstream, which covers the refining, petrochemicals and plastics segments, areas of particular interest to regional NOCs that have projects worth billions in the works to cater to the growing demand for products in Asia.

Leveraging technological capabilities to maximise wellhead productivity as well as ensure operational safety through application of AI, an area that is receiving increased investment and development of in-house capabilities within the energy industry, will also be on the agenda.

Harnessing Big Data to spur increased efficiency in responding to price volatility of the oil markets, cost reductions and ushering in an era of unmanned rigs, will be set for much discussion at Adipec.

The conference will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from until November until 15.