Posted on August 11, 2014

The Valdez oil spill of 1989 was the trigger for international energy companies to re-examine how they structured their operations. Heavily capitalized with a high-risk profile, the oil and gas industry realised they needed to change their management ethos to avoid costly incidents and remain competitive. Middle East energy operators, benefitting from the experience of their international counterparts, are now doing the same.

One such company leading the way is The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO). Utilising the experiences of Chevron, BAPCO has developed and implemented an Operational Excellence Management System and are officially supporting the upcoming Operational Excellence Middle East Forum. To be held at the Intercontinental Regency Hotel in Bahrain, the Forum will be taking place from the 28 – 30 September in Manama.

Organised by The Energy Exchange and World Refining Association the event will be held under the patronage of the National Oil and Gas Authority of Bahrain. Speaking about the reason for hosting the event in Bahrain, Maxwell Thompson, conference director for The Energy Exchange, said: “The commitment of Bahrain to Operational Excellence is in line with its standing in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom Report which highlighted the country’s competitive and efficient regulatory environment, and which is also reflected through the country’s petroleum sector which accounts for 60% of export receipts and 70% of Government revenue”

“A number of projects within this sector such as the new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the modernization of the Sitra Refinery and the offshore LNG import terminal are part of the revitalization of Bahrain’s hydro-carbon industry and make Bahrain a dynamic and logical choice for the second edition of Operational Excellence Middle East”, continued Maxwell.

The first day of the main conference will be opened with an official address given by H.E. Sheik Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and Minister in Charge of Oil & Gas Affairs for the Kingdom of Bahrain. A key focus of the programme on day one will be mapping how the region’s operators are implementing operational excellence today and what they have learned from the experiences of their International counterparts. With industry representatives from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as India, Canada and the United States the programme will also address the future of Operational Excellence and how it is evolving to ensure continuous improvement.

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The second day of the conference will examine the three key principles of Operational Excellence: leadership, management of people and change before moving on to address a major concern for operators within the region - asset integrity, reliability and maintenance.

Preceding the main conference, Gary Downs, former Lean Master Technical Authority with Shell and now Oil & Gas Lead for Secora, will deliver a master class addressing the practical approaches to increasing productivity, while reducing waste. Using interactive exercises alongside multiple case studies Gary will demonstrate successful approaches that have been employed and that deliver sustainable benefits.

Keynote speakers sharing their insight and experience at Operational Excellence Middle East include: Hafedh Al-Qassab, General Manager, Refining Division, Bahrain Petroleum Company; Dale McNeil, Continuous Improvement Advisor, Imperial Oil; Jay Raj, Specialist Engineer Reliability & Maintenance Engineering Support Division, Qatar Gas; Mohammed Al Hinai, Head of Risk Management, Oman Oil Company; Jassim Darwish, Head of EHS, GPIC; Aref Al Awadi, Senior Leader Business Process Development, PIC; Waddah Al Hashemi, Head of EHSQ Compliance, ENOC; Mark Hodgkinson Operational Excellence Head, Bahrain Petroleum Company; Elyas Mandourah, Manager Support Services Maintenance Department, PetroRabigh and more.

International technology providers including Honeywell, Dupont, and Petro IT will also be providing insight on leveraging technology to maximize operational excellence initiatives further highlighting the aim of the conference to provide a comprehensive programme for those already involved in operational excellence as well as those about to begin the journey.