Strong Feelings after MAF 2016

The common denominator of the oil & gas industry is to save time and money. The Middle East Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition had been initiated to stimulate the debate on cutting machine downtime thus saving ‘time’ and ‘money’ for major attendees, Saudi ARAMCO, and largely aiming to kick-start the transformation of manufacturing for the oil & gas sector in the Middle East.

Having attended the event and worked very closely with stakeholders (Saudi Council of Engineers, ASM Saudi Chapter and Prince Mohammed University) some strong feelings came across. Saudi ARAMCO had attended strong. Exhibiting, Sponsoring, Leading the Committee and contributing papers and presentations, they had been overwhelmingly supportive. Mr. Mohammed Al-Sultan – Manager MSSD ARAMCO had set the scene with an opening highlighting the scope left for development and betterment, and which was complemented by Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed and Dr. Hamad Al-Mostaneer. The overall support and been outstanding which was reflected by speakers, sponsors and exhibitors including Tamimi Energy, Alfanar, Sherbiny and InmaSteel to mention a few.

The feedback on the program agenda was heartwarming and a testament to the well forged relationship between the committee and Neft Management. The program was wholesome in so far as it engaged industrialists as well as academics. Dr. Dragos Axinte of Nottingham University had made comparable the repair and maintainance challenges between the aerospace and oil & gas industries which had been eye opening presentations, with one attendee expressing it was the highlight of the entire program.

Personally however, the program had left me with two strong feelings. Firstly, I had felt a lot of hope after seeing the turnout of industry leaders such as Flowserve, SAECO, Weir Oil & Gas, Sirius Star and many others, showing their support and pushing on with their agenda. Through having frequent chats with oil & gas professionals, there is a somber feeling because of the low oil prices, however this wasn’t the feeling after hearing Al-Sultan affirming ARAMCO’s push ahead with projects and development undeterred by how the low crude prices is manifesting itself. The final strong impression I was left with was a strong felt sense of comradeship. Having seeing Mr. Hamad Al-Mostaneer – Conference Chairman and Mr. Yaser Al-Shehri – Conference Organising Chair, personally showing their gratitude and lending their keen eye to improve the fine details of the program, has left me with the feeling that the conference isn’t just an event, but I was part of their team and community and both where invested in each other.