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Plenary and Panel Sessions

Plenary Session: Artificial Lift in 3D: People, Technology and Equipment

Moderator: Nader D. Al Douhan, Conference Programme Chairman, Saudi Aramco

High profile industry executives to discuss the theme of 2012 ALCE which encapsulates the importance of people, technology, equipment to sustain artifical lift growth application within the region.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Albert Ollre, Artificial Lift VP for Sales Worldwide, Shlumberger
  • Ali H. Al Ghamdi, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Saudi Aramco
  • Fareed Abdulla, Senior Vice President, ADCO
  • Bill Vaught, Director - HPumps/PCP/Gas Lift, Baker Hughes

Panel Session 1: Present and Future of Artificial Lift in the Middle East

Panel Moderators: Marco Moreno, Schlumberger and Mohamed Ghareeb, Lufkin

Since the 1930s the Middle East and North Africa ( MENA) has emerged as the world’s most important source of energy and the key to the stability of global economy. More than 1/3 of the world oils come from that area. The Middle East also controls a significant portion of the hydrocarbons that are yet to be discovered. According to the U.S. Geological Survey over 50 percent of the undiscovered reserves of oil are concentrated in the region primarily in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE and Libya.

Today, more than ever, MENA oil and gas producers are faced with numerous and changing challenges to efficiently and safely meet the world’s energy demands. Artificial lift systems (ALS) have become a primary tool for providing the production and reservoir engineers with the ability to not only sustain, but even increase production upon market, corporate and national demands. With the widespread implementation of these production system techniques in the MENA, the industry needs to reflect on the enablers and challenges to ensure sustainable operations. The primary ALS in use at MENA are Beam Pumping (BP), electric submersible pump (ESP), gas lift (GL) and progressive cavity pump (PCP).

The fast and continuous development in artificial lift technology plays a big role in the challenges of producing the difficult fluids and /or wells. Where, the recent improvements in technology and metallurgy have reduced lifting costs through system components that resist hostile environments, optimize power usage, and improve reliability allowing profitable production from previously uneconomic fields or wells.

Many operators today are increasingly looking for engineered/integrated solutions for their lift requirements and not just the purchase of a commodity. Operators are seeking an engineered solution that allows them to maximize production and minimize lifting costs by manage artificial lift operations. Well automation (Monitor, optimize and manage artificial lift systems) using a common SCADA system and common production optimization software package is a big jump in the current days.

This panel will present the present day and the future applications of ALS in MENA oil and gas fields, covering the main problems encountered in the lifting and operation of the different oil and gas fields including the actions taken to overcome or eliminate these problems. Special emphasis will be given to marginal oil fields because of the economical limitation accompanied with development costs.


  • David Henderson, President, Al Khorayef Petroleum Company
  • Depinder Sandhu, Vice President - Middle East, Artificial Lift, Schlumberger
  • Mohammed Alqassab, General Manager Production Operations, Tatweer Petroleum
  • Obren Lekic, Vice President for Business Development, Borets
  • Sultan Shidhani, Study Centre Manager, Petroleum Development Oman

Panel Session 2: Implementation of Artificial Lift Technologies, Enablers and Challenges

Panel Moderators: Atika Bimani, PDO and Abdulaziz Ajaji, Saudi Aramco

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Abdulrahman Al-Jarri, Department Manager, Saudi Aramco
  • Lee Miller, CEO & Founder, Harrier Tech.
  • Mims Talton, President & Chief Executive Officer, FLOGISTIX
  • Rafael Bastardo, Regional Manager, Weatherford
  • Rami Qasem, Artificial Lift Vice President, GE Oil and Gas

Artificial Lift is becoming an integral part of the Oil & Gas Industry. With the widespread implementation of these technologies in the Middle East, the industry needs to reflect on the enablers and challenges to ensure sustainable operations.

Expert workforce is indeed considered the front and foremost enabler to the successful application of these technologies; however, the industry must take into consideration the experience gap and put plans to bridge any potential experience deficiencies. Another critical enabler to the successful deployment of Artificial Lift technologies is the strategic alliance between Operators and Service Providers. Full engagement between both parties is deemed crucial to meet reliability requirements and specific operation challenges.  Not to be overlooked is the added benefit of such strategic alliances in the maximization of the value-added to the local economy.

While Artificial Lift is most commonly associated with oil producing fields, less commonly spoken of is the deployment of Artificial Lift technologies in gas fields. As the Middle East ventures in Tight and Shale Gas prospects, Operators need to consider the deployment of proven Gas Artificial Lift technologies to improve the economics of such prospects.

This Plenary Session is designed to address the enablers and challenges in the above mentioned areas. Needless to say, people, technology, and equipment will always be critical to the success of Artificial Lift applications.