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Panel Sessions

Monday 11 March, 1045 – 1245, Room 1

Panel Session 1: The Gas Challenge

Moderators: Mohammad Husain, Equate; Abdulrahman Al Jarri, Saudi Aramco

Panelists: Ali Al Ghamdi, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Saudi Aramco; Aaron Gatt, Characterization Group President, Schlumberger; Menahi Al Anzi, Deputy MD of Gas and Planning, Kuwait Oil Company; Mounir Bouaziz, VP Commercial for Middle East & North Africa, Shell; Peter Clarke, Business Planning & Analysis Manager, ExxonMobil

Over the past few years gas has sailed up as a major source of growth in energy supply, through increased development of known resources, discovery of new conventional fields and exploitation of unconventional resources. Gas is being hailed as the product of choice because of its apparent abundance, its low environmental impact, and its safety record, particularly when seen as an alternative to nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukishima incident. However, this resurgence carries with it new challenges, particularly in the Middle East. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a region accounts for around 40% of the world's proven gas reserves, but only 10% of current production. These challenges will have special focus at the MEOS 2013 conference.

Among the regional issues that could be addressed are the rising demand for energy in general, gas as a cheap source of fuel for domestic industrialization, the limited current cross-border trade in gas, the options for new pipelines and LNG transport, and the need to maintain oil as an export commodity for maintenance of budget balances. Gas markets in the area could tighten significantly if these issues are not addressed, but the possible presence of large unconventional gas potential could also have major ramifications following the success of shale gas in the USA and the plethora of potential other energy sources (e.g. coal and renewables).

However, both piped gas and LNG provide opportunities for trade within the region and further afield. In this area pricing policies for gas will have a major impact on option development, despite the pressure of US shale gas, Asian oil-indexation and European hybrid spot-term pricing. Throw in the shift in operational tactics by pirates in the Indian Ocean, using larger vessels to extend their reach to all major shipping lanes in the area, and the set of challenges to gas in the region should provide the basis for significant discussion in MEOS 2013.

1045 – 1245, Room 2

Panel Session 2: Talent Development and Knowledge Sharing

Moderators: Khaled Nouh, Baker Hughes; Badria Ali AbdulRaheem, Kuwait Oil Company

Panelists: Nasser A. Al-Nafisee, General Manager, Training and Development, Saudi Aramco; Louise M. McKenzie, Reservoir Engineering Manager, ExxonMobil; Shabir Al Lawatiya, Talent Development Manager, Petroleum Development Oman

Talent development and knowledge sharing are key elements of any organizational strategy aiming to enhance and articulate the workforce competencies. In the oil and gas industry, these aspects are particularly critical to ensure the availability of a skilled workforce able to meet the accelerating pace of the world energy demand. Due to the changes in the demographics within the energy industry today, there is an immediate need to bridge the gap between the experienced and newly hired workforce; this can be done through integrating knowledge sharing with talent development. The retirement of technologists has led to a wider skill gap in key critical competencies that are required much more today than in the past, due to the increasing complexities of future discoveries and oil and gas prospects. Ways we as industry leaders should do to fill this growing gap are:

1. Dynamic measurement of industry changes.

2. Development and retention of key talent.

3. Knowledge sharing

As new reservoirs are discovered and new complex production methodologies are developed, the need is growing to share learning, best practices and knowledge to allow the industry to capitalize on opportunities quickly, an example of that is the accelerated unconventional shale oil and gas development in North America and the potential of developing similar unconventional reservoirs throughout the world. In order for organizations to compete and meet the changing environment, the utilization of innovative knowledge sharing tools and processes to build a strong talent foundation is required. Collaborative knowledge sharing leverages the organization to accelerate the development of their workforce with the use of both new and old communication methodologies.

The speakers will address the persistent unsolved diatribes in sharing best practices and training, which have puzzled not only the experts in talent development, but also have baffled the managers who confront every day training decisions: are formal courses still an effective strategy? Is self-development reliable and certifiable? How do we effectively detect and develop high-flyers? How we can we transform experts in mentors? What elements of training are motivators for a healthy professional journey? Are soft skills really a minor subject for a successful career? How the organization allow sharing knowledge and best practices?

The future prosperity and success of our industry will depend on our ability to develop talent from technical and leadership perspectives in anticipation of the future needs of the industry. Organizations need to align their strategies, practices, and processes in such a way that collaborative knowledge sharing becomes an integral part of the development of their talents and overcome the challenges of the changing business landscape.

Tuesday 12 March, 1045 – 1245, Room 1

Panel Session 3: Technologies Required to Unlock Unconventional Resource

Moderators: Abdulaziz Al Kaabi, Saudi Aramco; Mohammed Badri, Schlumberger

Panelists: Nick Gee, Senior VP, Weatherford; Richard Newhart, Team Lead-Subsurface & New Ventures, Encana USA; Samer S. Al Ashgar, Manager, EXPEC Advanced Research Centre, Saudi Aramco; Turgay Ertekin, Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Penn State University; Usman Ahmed, Vice President for Unconventional and Chief Reservoir Engineer, Baker Hughes

Technology has played an important role in the development of hydrocarbon resources in the past. In many cases, it has made unconventional conventional. Recent examples of such technologies include horizontal and multi-lateral wells, 4D seismic, and advanced fracturing techniques. A game-changing area of hydrocarbon resource development that epitomizes the application of technology is unconventional gas including shale gas. Single-handedly, unconventional gas has altered the energy landscape in the United States and its potential is being investigated in petroleum basins throughout the world. However, the lessons learned in the United States in the development of this unconventional resource are not necessarily directly applicable or ‘transferable’ to other parts of the world. Economics and technology will both play an important role in its application and deployment worldwide.

This panel will provide a holistic picture of unlocking this resource and address specifically:

  • Basics including what constitutes unconventional gas, how to determine its potential in a given basin or region, and estimate reserves.
  • Economics including the impact of regional gas prices on its development, the economies of scale in terms of project size, and estimating the cost of production.
  • Technical including reservoir characterization, predicting the sweet spots for drilling and production, advanced fracturing technologies, determination of petrophysical properties, geomechanics, reservoir modeling, estimating the recovery factor, and optimum production strategies.
  • R&D including optimum investments for research, role of university and industry, and what are the most influential technologies for the exploitation of unconventional gas.
  • Environment concerns related to its development.

The topics that will be covered by the panel include opportunities, technological challenges and innovations, lessons learned, and adoption of best practices to make this unconventional resource a viable reality.

1045 – 1245, Room 2

Panel Session 4: Greener Energy – Collaboration for Sustainability

Moderators: Frank Kemnetz, ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures (Middle East) Ltd; Billy Dean Gibson, VP marketing, Schlumberger

Panelists: Dorine Bosman, Vice President Social Performance, Shell; Ebrahim Talib, Deputy Chief Executive, BAPCO; Greg Powers, Technology SVP, Halliburton; Gaurav Agrawal, Director of Enterprise Research, Baker Hughes

Energy, economy, environment: three of the most important global issues facing governments, industries, and consumers today. And, they are all interdependent. Energy is essential to fuel economic growth, and the availability and cost of energy affects economic development. Every form of energy production also has an impact on the environment, with climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions being one of the most widely debated environmental issues.

Because energy, economy, and the environment are interdependent, sustainable solutions will be those that foster continued economic growth with more efficient energy use and reduced environmental impact. Energy producers and consumers alike have important roles in achieving this objective. Cooperation and collaboration are key in making wise decisions about how we produce and consume energy in the future. While significant progress has been made in recent years, the oil and gas industry still faces significant challenges in continuing to supply the world’s growing needs for affordable, reliable energy while further mitigating the environmental impact. This panel seeks to bring together experts for a constructive dialogue on the future of the energy industry, with particular focus on collaboration to achieve a more sustainable energy future.

Wednesday 13 March, 1045 – 1245, Room 1

Panel Session 5: Developing Local Content

Moderators: Husam Jahadhmi, PD; Alasdair Shiach, Baker Hughes

Panelists: Basav Ray Chaudhuri, Local Content Manager, Schlumberger; Simbi Wabote, Global Manager for Local Content Development, Shell; Sultan Al-Hajji, Vice President Institutional Development, Total

Historically, the energy sector has been the major contributor to the region’s economic well being, not only from direct investment and job creation, but also from the industries and services that develop to support the energy sector. As populations continue to grow, there is a pressing need to increase the rate of job creation over and above what the energy sector has traditionally achieved. 

Developing local content is essential to encourage national and regional development through the growth of local manufacturing and service industry and human capital. Education, training, experience, and business development in the manufacturing and service sectors are essential to create employment and feed into growth of regional economies. However, developing local content is not without its challenges as both established businesses and entrepreneurs reconcile local content desires and responsibilities with constraints related to capital, quality and service delivery, technology, supply chain, and human capital.

The panel will present and debate on how developing and sustaining local content can most effectively be achieved at a pace that meets the needs of the region.