Gulf Safety Forum and OPEX MENA: Stepping up safety and operational excellence in oil, gas and petrochemical sectors

The Gulf Safety Forum 2019 and OPEX MENA 2019 – Operational Excellence in Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals – will take place in Bahrain during 25-28 March.

Aluminium Bahrain received the GSF Safety Award in 2018.
Aluminium Bahrain received the GSF Safety Award in 2018.

It is no surprise that over the last year, the topics of safety and operational excellence have been covered extensively by this magazine. The target of zero accidents and a high level of operational efficiency has always been of the utmost importance for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Companies invest billions of dollars in high-quality asset acquisition and return on investment is only possible if plants are operated safely and efficiently.

It is very important, therefore, that operators have a platform where they can come together and hear not only from expert consultants but also from fellow operators about their project successes and failures, as input for their own journey to operational excellence. Euro Petroleum Consultants has been providing such a platform by staging its OPEX MENA event each year, which is a forum that addresses operational excellence in oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

OPEX MENA is a unique event in the region as it is the only forum devoted solely to supporting the regions’ operators on their operational excellence journey by giving them a place to speak openly with their industry peers and exchange experiences. The vast majority of the participants are end-users rather than vendors – this clearly demonstrates that operational excellence is a huge priority for oil, gas and petrochemical companies,” said Tamimah Dhaher, general manager of Euro Petroleum Consultants.

One area that experts are unanimous about is that the key to continued success in terms of operational excellence is changing the culture of the workforce. Kevin McQuillan of Solomon Associates recently stated: “A real challenge for our clients is for them to ensure that they have a culture of ambition to improve, embedded throughout their organisation.” This is backed up by Orpic, which will be presenting their own operational excellence journey at the event. They said that the area they find the most challenging is the change of mind-set and behaviour of people and to make improvement sustainable after the operational excellence project is over.

OPEX MENA will be preceded by the Gulf Safety Forum, which is aimed at promoting safe operations in industry. “Safety is of course number one and is also a big driver for operational excellence. Holding the two events back-to-back gives health and safety specialists and operational excellence specialists the opportunity to have their own forums as well as participate at both events if they wish,” added Dhaher.

At the Gulf Safety Forum, an award will be presented to the company that demonstrates the best overall achievement in HSE over the last two years. Last year’s winner of this award was Aluminium Bahrain. When asked why they are participating at the Gulf Safety Forum again in 2019, an Aluminium Bahrain official said: “The Gulf Safety Forum is well-known as a platform that highlights various companies’ safety processes and thought leadership in the safety and sustainability of its business. It is also the place to meet international safety experts from diverse industry sectors and discuss strategies for continuous improvement. As one of the leading industrial organisations in this region, it is an honour for Aluminium Bahrain to participate in the Gulf Safety Forum and share our safety journey and the best practices in safety for the benefit of other attending businesses.”

Presenting companies at the events include ADNOC, Aluminium Bahrain, Bapco, ENOC, GPIC, Noga Holding, MOL Group, Orpic, Kuwait Gulf Oil Company, KOC, KIPIC, SABIC, Saudi Aramco, SATORP, Sipchem, and many of the leading international consultants and solution providers.

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