Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The challenges and opportunities facing owners, operators and regional governments involved in the offshore marine and workboats sector will be put under the spotlight next month as prospects for new commercial developments and exciting technological innovation in the shipbuilding industry continue to be affected by volatile oil and gas prices.

Returning to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 5-7 October 2015, the Seatrade Offshore Marine & Workboats Middle East Conference will deliver an in-depth examination of the industry with a series of focused forums, sessions and an executive briefing covering the key issues and areas impacting the industry.

The three-day conference, which takes place every two years in the UAE capital, will open with a keynote forum that will lay bare the current landscape of the industry.

“The keynote will set the scene for this year’s event with up-to-the-minute market intelligence data the foundation for the ensuing discussion as our high profile speakers address issues such as market outlook, efficient resource allocation to drive profitability and the prospect for continued growth,” said Emma Howell, Head of Marketing, Middle East, Seatrade.    

Other marine and offshore leaders will have their say at a dedicated forum session on the afternoon on day one, as future growth is impacted by lower oil prices. A panel line-up of influential and respected company leaders will cover game-changing topics including an evaluation of the recent oil price drop on E&P spending, a look at supply and demand drivers, and order book expectations, plus national oil company perspectives.

“The day one forum will be broken down into two power sessions that get right to the heart of the industry’s commercial viability and our panelists, who are all acknowledged experts in their respective fields, will bring their decades’ of experience and market knowledge to bear to present a practical industry overview,” said Howell.

Shipbuilding technology headlines the morning action on day two of the conference with advances in propulsion technology, such as thruster development and the application of electricity in thruster installations and hybrid power systems, offering multiple benefits.

The session will look at the importance of ship efficiency and productivity in light of increasing demand for sophisticated offshore vessels as the region’s national oil companies continue to plough significant investment into offshore drilling and exploration.

“This is having a domino effect on the industry with vessel operators focusing more closely on ship efficiency and productivity as lower day rates and tighter margins squeeze profit potential, whilst local shipbuilders are facing the reality of operating in a hyper-competitive market environment and the need to balance new tech advancements and raise productivity levels,” remarked Howell.

The human face of the offshore and workboats sector will also be a focus with a dedicated session looking at the strategies required to tackle the growing shortage of suitably trained and experienced seagoing personnel available to workboat operators in Gulf waters. And day two will conclude with a unique country briefing on Iran’s call to action for international producers and contractors to prepare for a raft of future tenders and projects.

The final day of the 2015 conference agenda leads with finance and an instructive two-hour panel session examining the availability of new lending sources, such as China, and rising interest in Islamic finance, as well as invaluable advice on identifying new sources of capital and legal risk management.