The 21st edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS 2019) held in Bahrain attracted a record total of 9,144 attendees, marking a 9.8% increase over the 2017 edition and reaching a new high in the 40 year history of the event.

Attendance growth was matched by a 5.2% increase in exhibitor participation numbers at the 12,000 sqm exhibition of oil and gas products featuring 203 companies from 27 countries.

Shaping the Future

The parallel conference took place under the theme ‘Resilience through Talent and Technology Transformation.’ Over 400 expert speakers reflected on how the industry can meet world energy demand efficiently, responsibly and with maximum value, with a focus on 4th industrial revolution technologies, collaboration, and nurturing the next generation.

Industry-wide Support

MEOS 2019 was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Bahrain H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The event was supported by the Bahrain National Oil and Gas Authority and a committee of IOC and NOC representatives chaired by Saudi Aramco and Petroleum Development Oman.

Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa performed the exhibition opening ceremony on 19 March 2019 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, during which he emphasised the Bahrain government’s commitment to upgrading the oil industry to benefit the national economy.

New Discoveries and Technologies

The conference opened on 18 March 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel and was followed by the inaugural MEOS Energy Awards. Welcome addresses were delivered by Bahrain’s Minister of Oil H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Al Khalifa; MEOS 2019 Co-chairman and Saudi Aramco’s Chief Petroleum Engineer Waleed Al Mulhim, and the 2019 SPE President Sami Alnuaim.

The Minister of Oil shared progress on Bahrain’s biggest oil and gas find since 1932 – estimated to contain more than 80 billion barrels of tight oil and up to 20 trillion cubic feet of deep natural gas – and highlighted opportunities for future co-operation.

Waleed Al Mulhim declared MEOS was a bright spot for the region and the industry alike, saying: “MEOS provides an opportunity looking beyond the industry; focusing on collaboration with business, educational institutions, governments and society. We need joint development of new technologies that will increase discovery and recovery, reduce cost, enhance safety and protect the environment.”

Smart Collaborations

At the opening executive plenary session ‘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 from both operator and service company perspectives.

Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard stressed that the industry should step up its “willingness to openly collaborate beyond company boundaries, to solve problems and to drive continuous improvement in all our activities. In between the operators and all parts of the supplier industry, we sit on an enormous amount of complementary expertise and experience, that if brought together can make amazing things happen in terms of value creation.”

Saudi Aramco’s Upstream Senior Vice President Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani reflected on how the successful oil and gas company of the future should be “smarter” both in terms of technology and emotional intelligence to meet society’s expectations. “The enablers of our profitability, adaptability and sustainability are being redefined. Much like the energy landscape itself. We can be confident that oil and gas will continue to play a vital role for the foreseeable future. But to sustain this industry we must increase our value proposition for society, particularly as alternatives become more affordable,” he said.

Knowledge Sharing Case Studies

More than 360 technical and e-poster presentations designed to share the knowledge and experience of managing, operating and supplying oil and gas companies followed over the subsequent 3 days of the conference.

High-level Insights

Other conference highlights included a keynote session exploring how the oil and gas sector is adapting to demands for cleaner technologies and energy sources, 6 high level panel sessions, a workshop sharing best practices to support a diverse workplace, and a 3 day programme of events aimed at nurturing the next generation of oil and gas professionals.

The next edition of MEOS will take place from 15 – 18 March 2021 in Bahrain.