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Sustainability ‘crucial for oil industry growth’

Sustainability should form the bed-rock of growth for the region’s oil and gas industry, said a leading minister at the opening of a major oil & gas event which opened in Bahrain on Sunday.

Setting the tone for the 18th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS 2013), Finance Minister and Minister in charge of Oil and Gas Affairs Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said the biggest challenge facing the industry today was not managing change but adapting to the accelerated pace of change that would shape the industry during the next decade, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

He was speaking at the opening of the event at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

MEOS 2013 is being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who is expected to inaugurate today an exhibition of exploration products and services with more than 300 companies from 30 countries attending.

“In order to adapt, we will need to introduce new methods of thinking and work processes,” Shaikh Ahmed said.

“One of the challenges facing the energy sector is the lack of a skilled local workforce and it is very important that the industry invests in human resources, which will ensure the continuous availability of engineers and managers.”

Bahrain is training youth with the help of Tamkeen and future plans include setting up of a regional training centre for the oil and gas industry, thereby helping to make the local workforce better qualified while upgrading the domestic oil and gas sectors, the minister said.

Citing statistics and industry analysis, Shaikh Ahmed said the International Energy Agency saw world energy use expanding by 33 per cent between 2011 and 2035 with an average growth rate of 1.3pc.

“According to Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, Mena region’s energy capital investment for the period 2013-2017 will reach $740 billion. Of this, one third would be dedicated to the power generation and transmission sector. The GCC countries show the biggest growth representing 43 per cent of the investment,” he added.

“Bahrain and the GCC will continue in their role as reliable suppliers of regional and world energy needs. However, future regional growth cannot rely on old recipes alone and we are well advised to ensure this growth is green, which will set us on the road to environmentally sustainable economies,” said the minister.

“All the GCC member countries have ambitious targets to increase the share of renewables in their energy source mix by 2020.

“The IEA has said that implementation of economically viable energy efficiency measures could reduce projected incremental demand for energy by 50 per cent.


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