At the beginning of the month, I travelled to Bahrain to attend the Middle East Oil and Gas Show, MEOS 2017.
As an attendee of the event in previous years, I acknowledge its importance in the Middle East as a platform to unite industry professionals, encourage learning and sharing. 2017’s show was no different, and although smaller than previous years there is no doubt that the quality of the conversations and insights were very high, if not higher than two years prior.
With the impending skills gap and concerns around how to attract and retain high quality people to the industry, I was encouraged by the full programme of events aimed at the future workforce and the number of young professionals in attendance at the show.
The positive atmosphere at the event was reflective of the mood within the wider industry, with most global operators and service companies detecting an upturn in the market and the prospect of stability during the next 12 months. One opinion leader said “It’s now moderately priced for longer”, in contrast to the industry buzz phrase of ‘lower for longer’, alluding to the industry’s progress around operational efficiency, collaboration and innovation.
With a show theme of ‘Transforming the Industry through Innovation and Operational Excellence’ the key topics of big data, predictive and analytical modelling, and the Internet of Things were prominent in the discussions and were specifically highlighted through a number of high quality papers, plenary and panel sessions.
Having attended a number of industry events across the globe already this year, a continuing theme is the challenge of the industry being able to innovate. This was no different at MEOS 2017 with conversations around key approaches to harness collaboration and how to learn from other high tech industries such as IT and aerospace.
As an industry, we have made big strides in our efforts to increase collaboration, but as the industry turns the corner I think we need to build more connections to fill the gaps in innovation at all scales. At READ we continue to leverage our technical and operational expertise to work closely with our customers to do this.
My hope is that the lessons learned are not lost in the next few months of continuing churn, and that the creativity and pace of change on display at MEOS 2017 continues unabated.