21 - 23 October, 2019
Muscat, Oman

Conference Day One: Monday, 21 October 2019

8:00 am - 8:45 am Registration, coffee and networking

8:45 am - 8:50 am IQPC welcome remarks

Suraj Rao

Conference Director

8:50 am - 9:00 am Opening remarks from Chairman

Digital maturity in Oman – Unleashing downstream potential
With the opening of the Duqm Refinery and Sohar Refinery, Oman’s refining capacity is said to be close to 450,000 barrels. Why does Oman need to digitalise?

9:00 am - 9:20 am Regional Trailblazer - Digitalising to emerge as a Middle Eastern downstream hub

Almost 40% of refiners cited reduction of operating costs as their top priority. Successful refiners of the future will be those that identify the link between operational cost reduction and the contribution of digitalisation towards that.

How is digitalisation aligning with Oman’s downstream strategy?
  • Understanding the impact of digitalisation on refinery operations
  • Discussing downstream digital strategies for oil dependent economies
  • Focusing on digital at scale and have the vision and belief to push through to the truly digital enterprise

9:20 am - 10:10 am Panel Discussion - Leveraging data and analytics for better decision making across the refinery. Can refineries afford not to?

Refineries today still leave over $10 billion of profit opportunity on the table effective use of digital technology with analytics and data being the top priority digital technology that will impact performance.

Will data and analytics help improve efficiency across the refinery?
  • Using real-time data to support proactive monitoring to address service degradations
  • Linking data to reliability: process system based reliability model ensuring maximum uptime of assets
  • Much data, little use: Defining and measuring data to achieve operational excellency
Fayez Kharbat, Working Group Chairman at MESA ME, Saudi Arabia

Fayez Kharbat

Working Group Chairman
MESA ME, Saudi Arabia

Maitham Al Lawati, General Manager at Oman Data Park, Oman

Maitham Al Lawati

General Manager
Oman Data Park, Oman

Nalin Chandna, CEO at National Gas Company, Oman

Nalin Chandna

National Gas Company, Oman

10:10 am - 10:40 am Regional Case Study – Short term investment for long-term gains Creating Collaborative Work Environment (CWE) - PDO’s smart mobile worker’s application

CWEs have been shown to contribute to production and availability gains of 1 to 5%, creating annual value in the region of $5 to 10 million per asset.

Do your refineries have a CWE? Are profitability margins a concern for you?
  • Combining industrial mobile devices and new mobile devices to help staff operate safely, efficiently and effectively
  • How is the smart mobile worker’s application helping PDO is save significant travel cost and reducing deferment by faster response to issues
  • Leveraging industrial mobility to improve competitiveness

10:40 am - 11:00 am Speed networking

11:00 am - 11:20 am Networking refreshments break

Security waits for none – Why is cyber security so important?
In the Middle East alone, cyber attacks have cost oil and gas companies $1 billion in outages and loss of confidential data.

11:20 am - 11:50 am Preventing hackers from implanting malware and exploiting refinery intelligence to hamper refinery operations

Only 47% of Middle East oil and gas companies surveyed in the report said they prioritise continually monitoring all infrastructures for cyber threats and attacks.

Why is it important to move from a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach?
  • Cyber warfare: Moving to a shadow network incase of a state sponsored attack to prevent sabotage of operations
  • Developing specific security architecture for industrial and safety control systems for to ensure quick incident response
  • Conducting frequent mock drills to expose weaknesses within networks to prevent cyber attacks

11:50 am - 12:20 pm Convergence of IT and OT: Differences and opportunities, how can they be tackled?

Researchers say that 80% of the security issues faced by Operational Technology are almost identical to IT (due to OT adopting IT technologies over time), while 20% are unique, not to be ignored, and critical.

How can you ensure a successful IT-OT sync amongst teams?
  • Protecting networks from harmful applications and cyber intrusions through whitelisting
  • Brainstorming and establishing joint (IT-OT) cybersecurity strategies to ensure clarity and definition
  • Who are the bad guys? Enabling OT teams to identify clear cyber threats to prevent attacks
Eng. Haitham Hilal AL Hajri, Senior Cybersecurity Specialist at Oman National CERT, Oman

Eng. Haitham Hilal AL Hajri

Senior Cybersecurity Specialist
Oman National CERT, Oman

Digitalisation – What does it mean for the workforce?
Preventing incidents and ensuring worker safety is priority for refineries. Incidents can cost refineries anywhere between $80-300 million often accumulating about 20% in overtime.

12:20 pm - 12:50 pm Safety in action – Digital technologies to improve overall working conditions, safety and productivity

Productivity and safety challenges often go hand in hand during a turnaround. Refineries that have leveraged digital technologies have reported close to 15% productivity boosts during shutdowns.

How safe are your workers? How will digitalisation keep them safer?
  • Equipping workers with RFiD tags to monitor fatigue and stress levels
  • Making use of deep data to make decisions that continuously optimise safety and increase performance
  • Worker compliance to ensure that workers always follow all safety programs

12:50 pm - 1:20 pm Piled, filed and lost – Improving worker productivity through standardisation and access to critical information

Access to the right information at the right time can boost productivity and reduce risks.
Overhauling paper based systems into digital systems can result in savings of 10-15% on MRO costs.

How short-term investments in digital technologies can improve profit margins by $1.5/barrel?
  • Storing site information digitally for immediate productivity gains and knowledge transfer within the organisation
  • Identifying pain points within MRO workflows and developing a digital strategy to solve challenges
  • Documenting real-time and legacy data for maintenance teams to predict and prevent asset failures

1:20 pm - 2:20 pm Networking lunch break

Asset maintenance – Balancing productivity and downtime
Poor maintenance strategies can reduce a plant’s overall productive capacity by 5-10%.
Smart maintenance strategies will reduce downtime and maximise output

2:20 pm - 2:50 pm Drowning in data, looking for insight – How is reliability of assets playing such an important role in profitable refinery operations?

Just 3.65 days on unplanned downtime can cost an oil and gas company $5 million dollars. In order to eliminate risks oil and gas companies are constantly on the lookout for innovative maintenance and reliability strategies.

How reliable is your equipment?
  • Integrating IT and OT to provide maintenance teams with sufficient data to support multiple maintenance strategies
  • Developing an in-house asset performance management (APM) programme for non-critical equipment
  • IIoT and low-cost sensors for data driven decision making to achieve maintenance excellence
Omar Ibrahim, Co-founder and Director at Kuwait Hackers, Kuwait

Omar Ibrahim

Co-founder and Director
Kuwait Hackers, Kuwait

2:50 pm - 3:20 pm Predictive maintenance – Using data and models to predict and prevent asset failures

Recent studies also show that unplanned downtime costs refineries an estimated $50 billion each year. Predictive maintenance increases equipment uptime by 10-20% and reduce overall maintenance costs by 5-10%

How can predictive maintenance help?
  • Aligning maintenance strategies with equipment criticality through data models
  • Predictive asset analytics to determine asset health and enhance asset life cycle
  • Combining machine learning, maintenance applications and IIoT data to recommend maintenance actions after failure
Nader Milibari, Division Head, Refinery Maintenance Reliability & Technical Support at Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

Nader Milibari

Division Head, Refinery Maintenance Reliability & Technical Support
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

3:20 pm - 3:40 pm Networking and refreshments break


Interactive Discussions Group (IDGs) are the perfect setting for audiences to come together and discuss their ideas, insights and opinions on specific topics. Each IDG has a leader who will lead the discussion and mention key points that the audience seated can engage in, creating a platform for interactive conversations and learning’s from like minded individuals, from similar work backgrounds of industries, hence leading into a thought provoking discussion. Every participant will have the exciting chance of discussing and sharing their views over two topics for 30mins each within the respective groups of round tables.

Group 3

The leader will discuss why investing in such solutions are important given the market situation and how operators can benefit from such investments. Leaders will also discuss the risks and opportunities, digital technology possesses and will share best practices and knowhow on value creation by these solutions.

Group leader
Eng. Haitham Hilal AL Hajri, Senior Cybersecurity Specialist at Oman National CERT, Oman

Eng. Haitham Hilal AL Hajri

Senior Cybersecurity Specialist
Oman National CERT, Oman


3:40 pm - 4:40 pm Operational Intelligence
The leader will discuss how breaking information silos and unifying data from various sources can enhance refinery operational intelligence. The leader will also discuss the concept of prescriptive analytics and data can be harnessed from equipment performance, maintenance frequency and process parameters to achieve operational intelligence.

Group leader
Maitham Al Lawati, General Manager at Oman Data Park, Oman

Maitham Al Lawati

General Manager
Oman Data Park, Oman


3:40 pm - 4:40 pm Drones and UAVs for downstream operations
Drones have saved refineries millions through online asset monitoring for instance a live flare. Drones also collect aerial data and imagery for future operations. The leader will discuss how drones have helped in online inspections of flares, towers, columns etc. can save oil and gas companies millions of dollars in downtime and shutdowns


3:40 pm - 4:40 pm Risks in implementing a digital strategy
The leader will discuss risk in implementing a digital strategy and strategies needed for minimal risk. The leader will also discuss case studies and solutions experiences the requirements and areas to focus on whilst implementing a digital infrastructure so as to mitigate risks of failure.


3:40 pm - 4:40 pm Collaborations and regulations
One of the biggest challenges in integrating digital solutions is the need for sound collaboration and revalidating the regulatory environment. The roundtable leader will share insights

Group leader

4:40 pm - 4:50 pm Closing remarks

4:50 pm - 4:50 pm End of Conference Day One

The published programme is correct at time of printing. However, given the seniority of our speakers and the nature of their roles, speakers may subsequently substitute or remove themselves from the programme. This is always regrettable, and we will always try to replace the speaker with a speaker with equivalent insight.