Low oil prices remains crucial for marine industry

UAEABU DHABI: Seatrade Offshore Marine & Workboats Middle East – the region’s leading event for offshore marine-related industries, workboat operators, builders and equipment suppliers – has revealed details of its 2015 conference programme with a stellar line-up of industry influencers and decision makers confirmed to speak at the biennial event.

Returning to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 5-7 October 2015 for its 5th edition, the three-day conference will open with a keynote forum that will set the scene for 72 hours of intense discussion and strategic debate covering the current issues and challenges impacting the industry today.

“The workboat and offshore industry is incredibly dynamic and complex, and with the existing low oil price situation dominating the market environment, the high level of unpredictability affecting operators, owners and the marine sector as a whole is forcing players to re-evaluate their strategies to mitigate negative commercial repercussions,” Vanessa Stephens, Managing Director, Middle East & Indian Subcontinent, Seatrade, said.

Leading the keynote session will be Eng. Shamis Al Dhaheri, Chairman, Ali & Sons Marine Engineering & MD, Ali & Sons Group; Dr Khaled Al Mazrouei, CEO, Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company and Rene Kofod-Olsen, Chief Executive Officer, Topaz Energy & Marine. The three experts will discuss the current business environment and market outlook as well as look at effective resource allocation to ensure profitability in an increasingly competitive market environment

Another highlight of the day one schedule is the Marine and Offshore Leaders Forum, taking place from 3-5 pm. The in-depth session will look at the future direction of the workboat and offshore sector as oil and gas price volatility continues to destabilise market conditions.

While previously high energy prices have been a successful catalyst for supply growth, lower oil prices have sparked a major shake-out of cost in the industry. The big question is whether lower oil prices will be sustainable if the needed upstream investment fails to come through. Not a problem for the next year or two, but will certainly be an issue at the back end of the decade,” Bill Farren-Price, CEO, Petroleum Policy Intelligence, and one of the forum speakers, said.

The forum will deliver a frank and honest evaluation of the industry’s current status through a series of interactive power sessions that will give delegates expert insight into the latest commercial developments and future market outlook as well as share their own experiences and strategic commentary.

“There has been significant investment into new on and offshore facilities, services and technology in recent years as our clients demand ever higher standards of quality, safety and security. This is all reasonable, as is their demand for cost efficiency but as we look to the long-term profitability of our sector with depressed oil prices and pressure to reduce prices, the future looks challenging. So, with oil price low, we need to change and adapt to the new environment and the forum is a fantastic opportunity to lock heads and debate effective strategies to address the issues as key service supplies to the wider oil and gas industry,” Ian Hugo, Regional Managing Director, Middle East & Indian Subcontinent, Smit Lamnalco, said.
The various forum sessions will also analyse supply and demand drivers in relation to order book potential; look at solutions for success and securing new contract wins; the perspective of national oil companies versus contractor expectations; the shipyard outlook; and regional insight/opportunities from the Red Sea to the Caspian, Africa and South Asia.

Day two and three sessions this year include The Shipbuilding Technology Forum; The Human Element; a Finance Forum as well as two special regional ‘power hours’ about operational issues in the Caspian, with another dedicated to Africa.

The 2015 event will build on the success of the 2013 edition which generated US$850 million in onsite orders, welcomed almost 5,000 participants (46% increase over 2011) from 54 countries, 211 exhibiting companies and increased its floor space by 8% to nearly 4,000 square metres. The 2015 showcase has already sold 80% of the 4,680 square metres of exhibition space reserved this year, signing up over 165 exhibitors.

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