Oil & Gas Middle East – November 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

6


EDITOR’S LETTER

NOVEMBER 2018 oilandgasmiddleeast.com

I


t is easy to get swept up in the
hype surrounding digitalisa-
tion. Media headlines are a sea
of buzzwords: internet of things,
blockchain, automation, artifi-
cial intelligence, drones... and so
on. In fact, many of those words
are repeated in this issue of Oil
& Gas Middle East.
But technology is ultimately
the means to an end. When a
company executive announces an investment into
automation technology, they are really announc-
ing an investment into efficiency and productivity
using that technology.
Optimisation is a shared goal across the indus-
try—despite rising oil prices, energy companies
remain focused on keeping costs low and produc-
tivity high.
Digitalisation can be an extremely effective tool
for optimising operations, as attendees of the Abu
Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and
Conference (ADIPEC) 2018 are sure to see at the
event, with digital innovations on display from
exhibitors that range from small startups to energy
supermajors and their services providers.
As one of the landmark oil and gas events of the
year, ADIPEC is generally a good time to reflect on
industry trends and market movements. Last year,
during ADIPEC, Brent crude prices hung around
the $61 per barrel mark. As of writing, Brent sits at
$75 per barrel, after a bull run that peaked in early
October at a four-year high of $86 per barrel.
Industry activity has bled across the value
chain, as key players move towards fullstream
operations—most notably companies like Saudi
Aramco, which launched engineering studies with
Total to build a giant petrochemical complex in
Jubail, and signed 15 MoUs worth $34bn at the Fu-

Digitalisation is not a far-fetched fantasy—it is, or it should be, a
daily reality for the oil and gas industry

A digital reality


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ture Investment Initiative Forum,
many of which involved down-
stream and localisation projects.
Localisation initiatives like the
In-Kingdom Total Value Added
program (IKTVA) are pushing
international companies to restruc-
ture their supply chains and move
manufacturing to the Kingdom.
Our cover interview for this
month (p20) sits at the crossroads
of these developments—Lorenzo
Simonelli is the chairman and CEO
of digital-focused fullstream oil and
gas company Baker Hughes, a GE
Company (BHGE). He talks about
the potential that transformation,
not only of the digital variety, holds
for the region, and how BHGE has
positioned itself in the market in
the year since it was formed.
And what a year it has been for
the upstream sector, marked by
projects to expand and redevelop
operations for oil and gas compa-
nies, advances in technology and a
changing market. In this issue, we
speak to industry leaders who will
be at ADIPEC this year, to catch up
on their work in the past year and
to see what is in store for them at
ADIPEC and in the year ahead.
For anyone heading into AD-
IPEC this year, prepare for a look at
the future of the industry.

Carla Sertin
Editor, Oil & Gas Middle East
carla.sertin@itp.com

THIS ISSUE:
We talk to leading
companies at
ADIPEC 2018 (p26)
in our preview of the
landmark event.

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