Industry leaders share their perspectives on the future of energy at ATCE 2021

Taking place from 21-23 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre, ATCE is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, with Dragon Oil serving as the Host Organisation

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer at the Opening

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer at the Opening

Dubai, UAE: The 97th edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) opened today in Dubai and virtually, with oil and gas professionals from 80 countries participating in the event.

Taking place from 21–23 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre, ATCE is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, with Dragon Oil serving as the Host Organisation.  

The Opening Ceremony commenced with His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman, Dragon Oil, addressing the gathering with a keynote speech and welcoming everyone to Dubai. Touching on the city’s goals, he said, “Dubai aspires to be a global platform for identifying knowledge-based and innovative solutions to challenges of climate change. The oil and gas industry needs to take ownership of one of its greatest challenges, i.e., the transition to net zero emissions. An active participation and support by all is called for, considering that 80% of world’s energy mix is currently from fossil fuels.”

He tackled the efficiency, productivity and environmental regulations in the oil and gas sector by saying that, ”Another area of challenge is the quick application of new and disruptive technology, both for enhancing efficiency and productivity, and also to comply with stringent environmental regulations and standards. Further, many countries are emphasising the development of local competencies and local content and such public expectations are playing an important role in granting the “License to Operate” for energy companies.”

He highlighted the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry, saying, “ATCE provides an excellent platform for discussions and exchange of ideas to overcome the several challenges, using the latest technologies and solutions. I encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to network, to discuss and to share your experiences with your peers and colleagues.”

Ali Al-Jarwan, CEO, Dragon Oil, said, “The theme of this year’s conference is The New Oil and Gas Journey: Agility, Innovation, and Value Creation, and it will put a strong focus on the Journey of the Future Energy Trends. ATCE, being held in the United Arab Emirates for the second time, is the upstream industry’s premier gathering, bringing together leaders, visionaries and experts from around the world to share and discuss the advancement of technology, best practices, challenges and solutions.”

Tom Blasingame, 2021 SPE President, said, “18 months of pandemic hasn’t stopped the SPE delivering great technical content and networking opportunities in new and innovative ways. We’ve done a great job of virtual collaborations and participation. Looking ahead, we must accept that we will continue to be challenged by our world and industry, but it is imperative that we continue to survive, revive, and thrive. And frankly, I believe we’ve reached the revive and I believe we’re well on our way to thrive.”

CEOs from the world’s leading oil and gas companies came together for a Plenary Session to discuss the conference theme. The session featured His Excellency Ahmad Al-Muhairbi, Secretary General, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Omar Obaid Al Nasri, CEO, ADNOC Onshore; Arnaud Breuillac, President E&P, TotalEnergies; Olivier Le Peuch, CEO, Schlumberger; and Vadim Yakovlev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board and Deputy CEO for Upstream, Gazprom Neft PJSC. The speakers shared their perspectives on the new ethos of agility and adaptability in the industry and the emphasis on HSE standards and practices, as well as production-critical activities.

The first panel session of ATCE 2021 focused on the theme, Transitioning to Net Zero: Governments and Corporations, with panellists Mohammed Al Nakhi, Joint Venture Director, BP; Kamel Ben-Naceur, CEO, Nomadia Energy Consulting; John MacArthur, Group Climate Change Officer, ADNOC; Vakulenko Sergey Vladimirovich, Head of Strategy and Innovations, Gazprom Neft PJSC; and Pascal Siegwart, VP Carbon Markets and Economy, TotalEnergies, discussing the importance of the industry working together to achieve a net zero future and the ways in which corporations could transform their net-zero-associated challenges into opportunities. The session was moderated by Hisham Zubairi, Senior Advisor, National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), Bahrain.

Regional Special Sessions, Special Sessions, Technical Sessions, and ePoster Sessions gave attendees multiple opportunities to hear from experts on diverse topics like Project, Facility and Construction; Geoscience and Exploration Challenges; Hydraulic Fracturing Design; New Developments in Gas EOR; Diversity and Inclusion; Geothermal; and Production and Facilities, to name a few.

The exhibition was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. 70 exhibitors are showcasing a wide range of current and upcoming technologies with demos and interactive displays offering visitors an engaging experience of discovering technologies and networking.


About Society of Petroleum Engineers

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose more than 140,600 members in 144 countries are engaged in oil and gas exploration and production. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge providing opportunities to exchange information at in-person and online events and training courses, publications, and other resources at 

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