The downstream oil and gas and petrochemicals industry Conference and Exhibition (BDFEX 2019), first-of-its-kind conference in Bahrain fully dedicated to research and development, opened on April 24th at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa.

The two-day event saw registrations from experts, investors and entrepreneurs across the oil and gas industry from Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain, to discuss and identify solutions to a range of industry challenges created by the rapidly evolving energy market.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Al Khaldi, United Gulf Consortia CEO, said bringing together oil and gas majors, regional corporations, investors and entrepreneurs, BDFEX is designed to help investors and entrepreneurs to explore new business opportunities and investments to maximize local content of manufacturing and services in oil and gas and petrochemicals industry.

“The oil and gas industry in the Gulf, especially in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, began its path towards achieving the 2030 vision of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,” remarked AL Khaldi. “Back in 2013, oil and gas industry in our countries was the most relied on source of income contributing more than 90% to the budget. After the low oil prices in 2014, we must unleash new hydrocarbon resources in order to increase agility and profits and diversify sources of income.”

CEO of PROACT, Dr. Khaled Bomtaia was a keynote speaker at the BDFEX opening ceremony. His address centered on how the first-of-its-kind conference was designed to be a breakthrough step that will achieve a great deal in the oil and gas industry in the GCC countries.

For his part, Mr. Fu’ad Musa VP local content & business development unit at SABIC, pointed out to the importance of local content manufacturing which includes mining, energy and logistics to provide job opportunities and boost trade balance.

“Saudi Arabia seeks to develop infrastructure of industrial and economic areas as this development will transform the Saudi Arabia into a leading industrial power and a global logistics platform” he added.

Speakers at the high-level sessions, included Mr. Abdulla AlSoweilem, general manager of Jazan Economic City-Saudi Aramco, Eng. Abdulla Saad Al-Rabeeah; managing partner of ALMOBDA. Speakers discussed topics including challenges and opportunities for the localization of downstream oil & gas and petrochemicals industries in GCC, addressing R&D challenges and improving human resources in the downstream industry. EPSCO and VGKSA companies took part in the BDFEX expo.

BDFEX will continue on Thursday with panel sessions and business meetings for initiatives of benefit to the industry at large submitted by companies, investors and entrepreneurs aimed at reducing cost, increasing innovation, addressing R&D challenges in the downstream industry.