Bahrain oil show draws record exhibitors

Bahrain oil show draws record exhibitors

The Middle East Oil and Gas Show (MEOS) ended in Bahrain yesterday (September 28), drawing more than7,000 delegates and visitors and a record number of exhibitors, TradeArabia reported.

The show started off in a tent in 1979 with only 200 delegates and visitors in attendance, one of its pioneers said yesterday.

Bapco's chief executive Faisal Al Mahroos, a young company petroleum engineer in 1979, HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa was immediately receptive to a suggestion to hold the show in Bahrain.

'It was suggested by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the executive management of Saudi Aramco that Bahrain would be a good place for the event,' Mr Al Mahroos told the GDN as the 17th edition of the show concluded at the Bahrain International Convention and Exhibition centre last night.

'The Prime Minister and the late Yousef Shirawi, the then industry and development minister, were very enthusiastic and set up the first team to run the show.'

Al Mahroos said Aramco petroleum engineering director Ed Price and Sadad Al Hussaini, also from Aramco, put the suggestion to Arabian Exhibition Management head Shaikh Mohammed Al Khalifa who said they would organise the show.

'When I got involved in 1981, it had moved from the Exhibition Road to the Central Market area, where it was held in temporary facilities.'

Al Mahroos said MEOS, which had already seen a jump in attendance, was then under the chairmanship of Ali Al Naimi, now Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister.

Al Hussaini said the show had come a long way since it was first held. 'We have seen a lot of development in this field in the region and Bahrain has not been an exception.' He said the support of Bahrain's leadership had been instrumental in seeing the show thrive and grow.

Al Hussaini, who went on to become Aramco executive vice-president, said the show would grow even more in the years to come.

'This year's show was perhaps the most successful, being the largest in size, in the number of papers discussed, the seminars, the projects and the innovations that it brought in,' Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza told the Bahrain News Agency.

'MEOS 2011 was the first show in which participation was sought from schools and universities,' he said.

Among the organisations offering students a chance to be a part of the hydrocarbon world was the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers which called on students interested in geoscience at all levels to join the team.

On the promotion of geoscience among the youth and the number of organisations wanting to recruit fresh or experienced staff, the Minister said the world of oil and gas was going through a new phase.

'The sector is very active. Taking Bahrain as an example, I can say that the creation of the National Oil and Gas Authority is one step in the rejuvenation of the sector in the country,' he said.

The creation of Tatweer, the expansion of the liquefied natural gas sector and the GPIC to name only a few has resulted in the need for more hands on board,' he said. 'The hydrocarbon industry is a playhouse of technology and this in turn is attracting youth who earlier opted for banking and finance and other occupations,' the minister said.

'The right people with matching aptitude and quality need to be infused into the industry,' he added.

'MEOS also proved to be the one expo where national companies from Africa and other countries, with blocks to explore were exhibiting their potential,' Dr Mirza said.

'For Bahrain, this was an opportunity to showcase its potential.

'International companies brought in new technologies and the latest in their research and development and the local companies offered their potential to tap it,' he added.

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