The Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) opens on November 11th, setting the agenda for the future of the energy, oil and gas sector.
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has the stage as keynote speaker at the ADIPEC 2019 Opening Ceremony, offering unique perspectives at the conference on Oil & Gas 4.0, the strategic conference that is part of ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi.
“Artificial intelligence means the loss of many jobs and the emergence of various others. As governments, we must find ways to improve the lives of citizens. I think the first task is to educate and educate our people well,” Rice remarked.
“So glad to hear references to women as I am here in UAE. We have a great opportunity to educate our people in science and technology. Women have record levels of education here in the Middle East. This is changing the face of life in the region,” she stated.
Widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the world, the former national security advisor shared her expertise on global affairs, national security and education.
Rice, former US Secretary of State in George W Bush’s administration, addressed navigating political risk, an increasingly complex challenge for the oil and gas industry and for regional national oil companies in particular. Geopolitical risks for the hydrocarbon-rich Arabian Gulf region that accounts for about a third of the proven oil reserves, have increased this year, as multiple attacks on oil tankers transiting the congested Strait of Hormuz, stoked tensions further.
The capture of a tanker by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as the impounding of an Iranian vessel by the British Royal Marines, off the coast of Gibraltar, all compounded to create a high geopolitical risk premium in shipping costs.
However, oil prices remain fairly subdued, weighed down by the tariff war between the US and China, that is threatening global growth and demand for oil in some of the emerging markets.
The industry also grappled with the biggest outage of oil supply in decades when multiple drone attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, including the world’s largest oil processing centre and a producing field, took nearly 5% of global output offline. The attacks, which affected more than half of the world’s largest oil exporter’s production, were a stark reminder of how geopolitical risks still loom large.
The annual event will see government representation from the US, now the world’s biggest oil producer, with day one featuring Frank Fannon, assistant secretary at the Bureau of Energy Resources with the US Department of Energy. The US is expected to hit a production level of 13 million barrels per day of crude by year-end, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The Oil & Gas 4.0 conference will offer four days of dialogue, insight and thought leadership from across the industry landscape including: ministerial and policy panels, keynote addresses, global business leader panels, inclusion and diversity panels, technical sessions covering upstream, midstream and downstream issues and closed door thought leadership roundtables.
Around 41% of this year’s attendees are expected to be from the Middle East and North Africa region, with 22% from Asia. Around 32.4% of conference delegates are from regional upstream entities, with 11.6% from international oil companies.