In a massive milestone for the gas sector, the first International Unconventional Gas Conference & Exhibition (IUGCE) took place at the Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Palace, Muscat, Oman. The high profile event has attracted over 350 influential attendees, most of whom are senior decision makers at global players in the unconventional gas arena.
It was the 1st event was under the patronage of His Excellency Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi and was organized by Knowledge Expansion in Unconventional Gas Community in Oman, the internationally respected key attendees included Mr. Raoul Restucci - Managing Director of PDO; Mr. David Dalton - Middle East Regional President for BP; Mr. Menahi Al Anzi - Deputy CEO: Exploration & Gas for KOC; Mr. Jerome Ferrier - President of the International Gas Union (IGU); all who were key note speakers at the conference. Also in attendance were Mr. Ross Clark Moore - Country Director for Baker Hughes; Mr. Sultan Al-Ghaithi – Country Manager for Weatherford and Mr. Manaf W. Arnous - Sales Director MENA Weatherford who were both Elite Platinum sponsors, Mr. Abdunasser El-Fituri Zammit – Chairman for Zueitina Oil Company; Mr. Markus-Erich Strohmeier -Country CEO for Siemens, and Mr. Zahid Imran Farani - Executive Director Exploration OGDCL Pakistan.
‘Unconventional gas’ refers to gas reserve types such as tight gas and shale gas which require much more advanced technologies and expertise to exploit. The event is being held under the over-riding theme: “Unconventional Gas Reserves: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development.” The main areas of focus included Drilling Operations, Human Capital Development, Gas Supply & Purchase Contracts, Economics of Unconventional Resources, Well Stimulation and New Technologies, among others.
Officially opened the three-day event, the conference Patron and Chairman His Excellency Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary for Oman’s Ministry of Oil & Gas, emphasized the urgency of exploring unconventional solutions: “Locally we have seen many suppliers knocking on our doors, promising to expand their facilities to meet local demand. They are at approximately 75% of their capacity, so any extra drop of gas will be more than welcomed by them. Therefore we have little choice but to venture into unconventional territory. The signature of unconventional gas is that it depletes very quickly. This demands more wells and more advanced technology, which translates into more expensive gas. Hence to make it commercially viable, we need to formulate a very efficient and integrated approach on all fronts: from the surface to sub-surface, and from the exploration to the development side.”
Commenting on the latest projections for gas supply and demand, His Excellency continued: “Although forecasts predict a dip in gas demand between 2020 and 2025, I personally don’t believe that dip will happen. I believe the world will continue to demand more gas, pushing us to venture into more difficult places: whether higher temperatures, higher pressure, greater depth or other challenges. This conference has brought all the key players, service providers and technologies so that suppliers are fully behind us as we overcome these challenges. Therefore I would like to give special thanks to Knowledge Expansion for putting this conference together in collaboration with the Ministry.”
Mr Rafeeq Kunhi, Director at Knowledge Expansion, spoke at the press conference following the grand opening, explaining: “This was a knowledge-sharing platform which proved that Oman and the region as a whole are not followers, but leaders. Rather than waiting to respond to increases in demand, the attendees took a proactive approach by staying one step ahead and pioneering new solutions to exploit the region’s unconventional gas reserves.”
In addition to the speakers, there were also panel discussions led by prestigious companies PDO, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, BP and KOC amongst others. The topics under discussion ranged from “Tight Reservoir Microseismic Hydraulic Fracture Monitoring in Extreme Conditions -- Examples from Oman”; “Unconventional Technology: The difference between successful and unsuccessful application”; and “Innovative Fracturing approach for Tight Deep Gas Reservoir in Central Oman”.
In addition to generous support from Oman’s Ministry of Oil & Gas and PDO, the event was supported by OPAL (Oman Society for Petroleum Services) and IGU (International Gas Union). The sponsors included Baker Hughes, Weatherford, BP, KOC, Shell, STS, Packers Plus, United Engineering Services, CC Energy and Petrogas E&P. Times of Oman served as the event’s Official Media Partner, while the supporting media partners included Oil & Gas Review, The Oil & Gas Year, Oman Oil & Gas, Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal, Gulf Oil & Gas, Petroleum Africa and Dew Journal.