Very few events bring stakeholders from around the world together in one place like ADIPEC Exhibition and Conference does. It's an excellent opportunity to meet clients, partners and delegates and speak about our plans, exchange ideas and boost the reach of the Kongsberg brand. People are in a different mode when they come to ADIPEC; they're in exploration mode. It's a dynamic and exciting environment.
The region's leading energy companies want to step up their digitalisation efforts and are investing significantly in their digital strategies. Kongsberg Digital spoke with representatives from several state operators from the Middle East. Each had incredibly ambitious digital targets; they want to get to the same level as other leading global operators. And fast.
Many ship owners and other clients will have to invest in digital solutions to achieve these ambitions. Digital transformation is a process that doesn't happen overnight and requires investments and implementation in digital technologies. The state-owned operators are vital in supporting and enabling this process.
Return on their digital solutions investments for ship owners is vital and also expected by the region's operating companies. There's excellent motivation to embrace digitalization in the sector. However, many are reluctant to deploy large-scale digitalization. Ship owners are assessing the moves of competitors and like-minded.
All Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations have ambitious plans to grow and diversify their economies. The push to introduce large-scale digitisation across the energy sector and beyond is part of a broader effort to create digital economies and establish themselves as global digital disruptors. While the present situation demands considerable oil and gas activity, the GCC plans for a future without hydrocarbons. GCC countries invest heavily in STEM education to nurture a new generation of local digital talent.The GCC is now revving up to realise the benefits of digitalisation and build booming future economies underpinned by outstanding local talent. But the need for international partners and expertise remains as strong as ever. Kongsberg Digital has been working in the region for several years, and the continuous presence and commitment have shown to be decisive to our relations.
State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is the world's leading oil and gas producer. Investing a large share of its revenues to digitalise its operations, the company recently became the first country in the region to introduce digital specifications for vessels, something the UAE and Qatar are still in the exploratory stages of. It also pumps funds into carbon capture, solar power, and other green energy initiatives. Its rig count has increased by 50-60 in the last 18 months, and Aramco anticipates adding another 30 by the end of 2023. This represents a significant opportunity for businesses that can move fast and at scale.
The energy landscape has faced considerable change over the last 12 months, driven by geopolitical events and an uncertain global economy. The impact on energy supply was reflected in ADIPEC's opening address, delivered by His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).H.E. Dr Al Jaber who is UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology as well, spoke of the need not to shy away from the situation made a case for continued investment in oil and gas exploration and discovery as part of a comprehensive energy mix. Digitalisation is undoubtedly an essential part of this mix. "The world needs all the solutions it can get. It is not oil and gas, or solar, not wind or nuclear, or hydrogen. It is oil and gas and solar, and wind and nuclear, and hydrogen. It is all of the above, plus the clean energies yet to be discovered, commercialised and deployed. The world needs maximum energy, minimum emissions," he said. "We need to hold back emissions, not progress. The world is looking for solutions, and I believe the energy industry can unite a divided world in finding them," said H.E. Dr Al Jaber in his closing remarks.
Currently, the Middle East vessel market, and the broader energy industry, are open to evolve. There is a great awakening on digitalization as means to become more efficient, safer, and greener, representing a significant opportunity; there is now a real appetite to invest in digital solutions, and make rapid progress. To achieve that speed and scale, they'll need to work with established players with much experience under their belts that can handle projects scanning hundreds of rigs. Kongsberg Digital is looking forward to playing its part in the evolution of the Middle East's energy sector.
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