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Africa focus for Abu Dhabi marine summit

Abu Dhabi, July 4, 2013

A leading event for workboat operators, builders and equipment suppliers will have a special focus on Africa, the Caspian and the offshore marine operations sector when it opens in Abu Dhabi in September.

Middle East Work Boats & Offshore Marine 2013, a top biannual three-day exhibition and conference, will run from September 30 to October 2 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

It will open with a high profile panel-led comprehensive industry outlook through to 2020, encompassing activity and opportunity across the Middle East, Africa and Caspian Sea.

“As international trade links and the region’s rapidly developing maritime infrastructure open up global connectivity, the pressure is on the industry - from ship owners’ to offshore support vessel (OSV) operators - to navigate the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment in order to capitalise on new market opportunities and fine tune operational efficiency,” said Chris Hayman, chairman, Seatrade, organiser of the newly rebranded Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine 2013.

The deep-water frontiers in West Africa which up until ten years ago were at the centre of Africa’s oil exploration rush, have not made any significant finds outside of Angola and Ghana during the last five years.

The current offshore growth potential in Africa is centred on significant deepwater gas discoveries on the east coast, geographically much closer to Middle East-based offshore operators.

Tanzania and in particular Mozambique is already being slated as a major producer of LNG and set to challenge even the biggest producers such as Australia. The northern part of the Rovuma offshore basin rim towards Kenya is also thought to contain significant amounts of oil.

According to figures compiled by major global oil and gas services supplier Baker Hughes, the offshore rig count in Africa represents more than 9 per cent of the worldwide total of approximately 369 (The Middle East accounts for over 11 per cent).

New sessions for 2013 include the Regional Power Hour series, an interactive educational experience that brings together industry experts for a panel discussion aimed at specific market challenges and complexities for companies looking to invest in the region.

“Africa is very much on the maritime radar of opportunity, and comes with its own unique challenges, especially in hydrocarbon-rich areas where lack of skilled labour, security issues and steep fines for non-compliance are the harsh reality for new market entrants unfamiliar with the region,” said Hayman.

With sizeable offshore hydrocarbon reserves attracting more and more large investments from global oil majors, the Africa focus will examine upstream oil and gas: local content in West Africa, the relevance of hiring African crew for local projects, finance accessibility and specific operational issues in Nigeria.

This year’s event line-up also includes the inaugural Global Workboats Technology Forum, in strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco, on October 1 during which international experts will present a series of technical papers on industry agenda-leading topics, with Dynamic Positioning (DP) capability and systems development dominating the final day’s debate on October 2.

Building on the success of the 2011 edition, which welcomed more than 2,800 participants, with a 23 per cent increase in total show floor space, Middle East Work Boats & Offshore Marine 2013 has already signed up over 165 exhibitors for this year’s event which will offer business and social networking both in the conference sessions and on the exhibition floor. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | Africa | Nigeria |

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