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Oil and Gas West Asia Exhibition and Conference kicks off

Atheer – Oliver Allan

The Oil and Gas West Asia (OGWA) Exhibition and Conference officially kicked off this morning at the Oman Conference and Exhibition Centre, under the patronage of the Ministry of Oil and Gas. The key regional event was inaugurated by His Excellency Mohammed bin Al Zubair, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Economic Planning Affairs, bringing together leading specialists in the oil and gas industry, enabling them to shed light on the latest developments and initiatives.

His Excellency Mohammed bin Al Zubair and the VIP entourage were given a tour of the exhibition, which has attracted over four hundred exhibitors from a total of nineteen different countries, such as France, Iran, South Korea and China, the latter of which has over forty companies in participation.

OGWA, which runs until the 28th of March, is organised by Omanexpo, with the support of Oman Society of Petroleum Services (OPAL) and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).

Dr. Amer Rawas, Board member and Chairman of OPAL, spoke to Atheer about OPAL’s role as a participant at the conference and exhibition. “OPAL is always present where the oil and gas community is. We make sure that we always have a presence, so that we engage the community first-hand,” he said.

“Our staff will visit every single booth to understand the developments of the sector and also to reflect on the needs and aspirations of our members. What we exhibit here are products and services that our members may be interested in. Some of these products and services may have already been delivered and offered to the community, but some are recent and therefore we need to showcase them at an event like this,” Dr. Rawas added.

Meanwhile, PDO is participating at OGWA as one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the region to highlight its main achievements in the industry, as well as to promote  some of its initiatives such as Istidamah, which is a sustainability initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of the environment and renewable energy. The company of course recently inaugurated its Miraah Solar Plant, which is one of the largest solar steam projects in the world.

PDO is also using the exhibition as a means to highlight its In Country Value (ICV) projects, a field in which the company serves as something of a pioneer. Furthermore it was showcasing its support not only for Omanisation but also for the development of Omani women, via the Banat Oman scheme. PDO sponsors the scheme, which aims to train Omani women in how to successfully open and run businesses that produce traditional handcrafts. PDO sponsors and trains Omani women via this scheme, as well as helps them to develop their business plans.

Elsewhere, Occidental Petroleum, which is one of the largest pivate emploers in the Sultantate, stressed its commitment to Omanisation by pledging to employ Omani nationals in a full range of positions, from entry level to executive management. At present the company is able to boast an Omanisation rate of 88 percent, with 75 percent of Occidental’s senior management Omani nationals. The company recently established a state-of-the-art virtual reality centre at it Mukhaizna Field, so to help the training and development of employees as part of its commitment to supporting both local job creation and career development.

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