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ADMA OPCO general manager Ali Al-Jarwan, speaks exclusively to Oil & Gas Middle East on industry issues.

ADMA OPCO general manager, and chairman of this year's conference session, Ali Al-Jarwan, speaks exclusively to
Oil & Gas Middle East.

The ADIPEC Conference programme, organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, has gained a reputation as a meeting of minds for the global oil and gas industry.

This year's conference "Working Together to Deliver Sustainable Growth: Innovative Teams & Technology Deployment" is certain to provoke informed discussion and debate amongst global industry leaders and researchers.

The current activities in the Middle East and the wider industry are very different from what we've seen before. - Ali Al-Jarwan.

The Conference brings together more than 200 international speakers delivering keynote addresses and participating in executive panels, technical presentations and panel discussions with 2,000 delegates.


From his stunning office hundreds of metres above the Abu Dhabi corniche, Ali Al-Jarwan, the general manager of ADMA OPCO, is busy making preparations for his role of chairing this year's bumper ADIPEC conference sessions.

"The preparations have been going on for two years, and I'm delighted to say this will certainly be the best informed and the most comprehensive session in the 24 year history of the event," beams Al-Jarwan.

Al-Jarwan's remit covers Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's offshore and marine exploration and production responsibilities. He was instrumental in the establishment last year of a new division solely dedicated to increasing the emirate's offshore production. These are dynamic times for ADMA OPCO, and the general manager is enthusiastic about the company's ongoing developments.

"When we look 20 or 30 years back, we can see the industry in Abu Dhabi has advanced so much. It has been a coordinated, step by step improvement in the style of the oil and gas industry and improvements and best practice transfer have come about through conferences and forums such as the ADIPEC event."

Al-Jarwan says that the collaborative environment between national oil companies, operating companies, contractors and manufacturers has been instrumental in driving the ADNOC group of companies to where they are today.

"We have excellent relationships with our international partners and its fair to say our industry is heavily dependent on integrated teams and implementing smart technology."

ADMA OPCO is a leading offshore operating company with excellent track-record of performance over the last 50 years in oil and gas production. The export on July 4, 1962 of the first shipment of crude oil produced from Abu Dhabi's territorial waters had massive ramifications in the modern history of the UAE.

The conference theme represents the current status of the industry where demand on fossil fuel is on the stretch at higher and higher price. - Ali Al-Jarwan.

Four decades later, the effects continue to loom large on the horizon of the petroleum industry in Abu Dhabi.

"That first shipment was produced in the Umm Shaif Field and exported from Das Island. Ever since, ADMA OPCO has fostered the best practices from the industry and been a first mover in deploying the latest technology," says Al-Jarwan.

"The current activities in the Middle East and the wider industry are very different from what we've seen before. It's a very interesting time to work in the oil and gas sector for individuals on a personal level, as well as for organisations," he says.

Al-Jarwan concedes that demand on projects, experts, materials and advanced plants and equipments is being stretched, which is demanding innovative solutions to meet ambitious goals. "ADMA OPCO is no different from the rest of the companies engaged in large projects to build production and to replace the old assets."

Having risen through the ranks of the company, Al-Jarwan has worked across several disciplines including drilling, production, reservoir engineering, fields development and operations management, and is now reaping the benefits such hands-on experience delivers.

"The oil and gas industry gave me chance to build a professional journey of learning, and that is very compatible with integrated nature of our industry. At certain career stages I felt that I needed to learn more about other disciplines. In principle, I enjoyed two major milestones in my career, first, long exposure of subsurface integration, where I served as the manager for petroleum development. Second, I changed from subsurface management to surface design and operations management which covers HSE practices, projects and large scale operations management."

ADIPEC conference

What are the primary factors behind the massive increase in technical submissions at this year's conference?

ADIPEC was initiated in 1984 by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Abu Dhabi local SPE Section. I am very proud to be one of its founders. Since then, the conference has gained momentum and international recognition among international and national oil and gas organisations, professional industry bodies and leaders.

Each and every conference is recording additional growth and enhanced quality. The last ADPIEC, held in 2006, was a breakthrough in terms of diversity of the conference programme. That is due to the number of technical committees and professionals engaged in designing and organising the call for technical proposals.

This year the Conference organising committee covered wider members in both technical and executive committees. A larger networking group was contacted worldwide to ensure maximum possible response. We received over 800 technical proposals, screened and ranked by 5 professional committees for each spectrum of our industry. In this way we control the quality and breadth of topics by premier status for the industry.

What's your relationship with the Society of Petroleum Engineers?

I am proud to have beeen associated with SPE since the earliest days of my career.

I have served at different levels in the SPE such as regional director and international board member. I have chaired various conferences, and in particular seven consecutive ADIPEC conferences. Preparations for this event started from 2006 just after we concluded the 12th ADIPEC.

It is worth mentioning that the SPE organisation, being the largest professional society of its kind worldwide, was instrumental in reaching petroleum professionals in a massive number of organisations worldwide. This has enabled the best minds to work together to build an informative and exciting conference programme.

Why has the theme "Working together to develop sustainable growth" been highlighted this year, do you think?

The theme represents the current status of the industry where demand on resources is stretched, at higher and higher prices.

On the other hand, the long development cycle and the associated increasing development costs represent continuous challenges.

Working together in innovative manner represents an opportunity to improve production efficiency as a valuable lever beside the technological development domain.

Is the topic choice indicative of closer ties being built between IOC's and national oil companies?

The energy business is a very diversified industry with growth needed for long term sustainability across the globe. Opportunities of such expected growth need the contribution of international oil companies, national oil companies, manufacturers and leading contractors alike.

IOC's and NOC's in particular have a wide base of responsibility to take the lead and advance the industry to add both production and reserve replacement.

They have a common domain of collaboration and learning opportunities from each other. Both IOC's and NOC's encourage innovative teams and technology development to improve industry efficiency both in the short and long term, to supply the world's energy.

Are you confident this will be the most interesting conference session held at the ADIPEC event?

ADIPEC 2008 is fully aligned with the challenges the industry faces, as well as today's opportunities. We have 10 outstanding panels covering peak production, sustainability, technology and innovation, human capital management as well as understanding the changes taking place in the industry, such as the rising role of the new independent organisations and the related financial management in the massive fields development needed across the industry.

Highlights of gas development also will be reviewed in detail. All these topics are interrelated and they focus on how we can improve the management of oil and gas production resources, which will always be the central issues.

Can you give a hint or two about what people can expect to learn about ‘sustainability' in the industry?

Within the conference line-up three important elements of sustainability will be examined from several technical papers and panel discussions.

Those key elements cover industry production issues and environmental concerns. In particular: How long the industry can maintain at least the current production level; how much the industry can add to current production levels, and a special focus on how the industry will improve the environmental control of carbon dioxide emissions in particular.

What themes do you anticipate emerging?

ADIPEC is about sharing of best practices and networking among professionals, managers and vendors. The technical content of the 26 sessions of high quality papers presented by experts and senior professionals, together with the high level topics reviewed by the industry leaders in the panel sessions, should provide communication avenues to transfer new knowledge and best practices to every participant.

The exhibition and display of the latest equipment will also give choice for various managers to consider new applications and encourage new equipment to be tried in oil and gas fields operations.

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