By Paul Kelechi
The second edition of the West Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, WAIPEC, is poised to set strategic standards on content, programs, quality of the delegates and communiques from conferences in the African oil and gas industry. Strategically positioned to be the first conference and exhibition for the year 2018, Bank-Anthony Okorafor, chairman of the Petroleum Technology Engineers Association of Nigeria told the Africa Oil+Gas Report in an exclusive interview that “WAIPEC 2018 will be a pace setter and pathfinder for the oil and gas sector for the rest of the year”. PETAN is the conference host while Global Events Partners are the organizers.
Over 2,000 delegates attended the maiden edition of the conference in 2017 and so far, more than 50% of the conference booths have already been taken. GEP is working assiduously to ensure that at least two ministers from other west African countries are in attendance at the 2018 edition of the conference. The goal is to diversify the industry people-experience-mix to be all encompassing. Bringing together experts from the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors will stimulate discussions when everyone is under one roof and is one of the best ways of sharing knowledge and best practices in the industry. “People share ideas on the best ways to do things technically, commercially and even discourse the risks involved” Bank-Anthony tell us as the interview went on.
The event organizers say WAIPEC is designed to be a solutions conference; that is the mindset behind what makes it different from other conferences before it. With board members of Gazprom, Google EMA and others indicting interest to be part of the 2018 event as speakers, WAIPEC is set to be a game changer. “One of them was the chairman of the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the World Economic Forum and he is asking to be the keynote speaker,” Bank-Anthony informs.
The technical sessions are going to have such topics as E&P Geoscience, Oil & Gas Unconventional Field Development, Drilling and Completion, Gas Processing Technology and Operations, Offshore Technology and Operations, Operational Excellence, Maintenance and HSE, Downstream Refining and Petrochemicals, Fertilizer Technology and Operations, Power Generation Technology and Operations discussed at the conference. Upstream Regulatory and Physical Frameworks, Upcoming Onshore and Offshore Licensing Rounds in West Africa are also some key topics that will be talked about during the strategic sessions.
Two key players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry that delegates will like to see at the event are the Minister for State Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru. The technical elite of the E&P sector of the Nigerian oil industry see Ibe Kachukwu as a visionary in charge of policies; he also has fresh industry ideas while Baru is seen as a “great administrator who has so much love for the industry”.
A combination of Kachukwu and Baru will result in excellence as both will bring deep operational excellence and knowledge of the NNPC to WAIPEC. When asked if they will be at the conference, Bank-Anthony simply said: “I intend to bring both of them because I think both of them have a lot of value that they can bring to the table”.