Hisham Zubari, GEO Chairman, shares what’s in store at GEO what lies ahead for the industry.
How important is GEO to the scientific community, and how is 2021 different to previous shows?
Since its inception in 1994, the GEO conference and exhibition has grown to become one of the major geosciences events in the region and beyond, providing a healthy platform for knowledge sharing, exchange and dissemination as well as an excellent opportunity to interact with major upstream companies, service providers and academia.
The show is conveniently held in the Kingdom of Bahrain which provides easy access for all countries in the region and the world to attend.
Most of the young professionals in the region have grown in their professions alongside the evolution of GEO conferences which have always provided them a platform to network and interact with peers and industry leaders and reputable companies to exchange knowledge and be up to date with the latest technologies in Geosciences and upstream.
GEO will address a new theme that was lightly addressed in previous GEO shows: Geosciences in the Digital World: 2020 and Beyond. The theme reflects the committees’ strongest belief that the advancement in the new cloud technologies, analytics, the ‘Internet of Things,’ artificial intelligence, Big Data Analytics, automation, and machine learning will provide geoscientists with powerful tools and opportunities in dealing with complex data to come up with better decisions with respect to optimizing production and maximizing reserves.
What is the significance of this year’s theme to the oil & gas industry?
The theme of GEO; Geosciences in the digital era, addresses the value-added role which the 4th Industrial Revolution is going to play in the Geosciences area. The upstream industry in general and Geosciences, in particular, are yet to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to integrating 4IR into the business.
The Executive and Technical committees of GEO which consist of reputable members representing reputable international companies have chosen this topic in order to shed light and bring focus to the opportunities the 4th Industrial Revolution brings to the field of Geosciences. Through this topic, we are aiming to build a new mindset and a conviction of the need for the industry to collaborate and invest time and money and resources in the fascinating field of AI for the good of the world.
How has GEO evolved in terms of content, potential impact and outlook?
GEO is going to be different than the previous ones. The Executive and Technical program committees have taken a decision 2 years ago to widen the scope of the event and think outside the box in order to highlight the great roles which Geoscientists play not only in helping produce fossil fuel energy to the world but also, their role in other fields such as hydrology, mineralogy and sustainable geothermal energy. Furthermore, we have dedicated a session to highlight the role of Geosciences in other non-petroleum applications.
What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the industry? How are these addressed at GEO?
A main challenge we see for the industry is to effectively ride the 4.0 train. AI has proven to increase efficiency and lower cost and provide better health, safety and environment in the upstream sector. GEO will help explore and identify opportunities it provides for geoscientists to contribute to that. It is well recognized that upstream industry in general and geosciences in particular have been shy in adopting AI, however, this will change and we will reap the value of 4IR as long as we continue to provide platforms such as GEO where experts can meet to exchange ideas, disseminate knowledge and share experiences and best practices, success stories as well as failures.
What disruptive technologies will be showcased?
The GEO theme tackles Geosciences in the Digital World: 2020 and Beyond. It will focus on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Geosciences. We believe that advancements in disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Machine Learning, automation in many sectors all over the world will have a positive impact on the field of Geosciences. cross-pollination of ideas between sectors will bring about fascinating solutions and concepts. GEO will showcase technical presentations as well as AI specialized plenary sessions and will host a good number of AI companies in the accompanying exhibition.
What new business opportunities does the event present?
For 26 years, the GEO exhibition and conference has been at the forefront of petroleum geoscience. GEO has fast become a next generation energy event, hosting major NOCs, IOCs, manufacturers, technology providers and service companies – all of whom play an active role in the global energy value chain.
GEO will host over 70 specialized companies from 20 countries ranging in services related to geosciences and artificial intelligence and others and will attract over 4000 visitors and so the show will provide great business opportunities.
Furthermore, GEO, and for the first time, will provide a “business incubators” area for startup companies in the fields of Geosciences. this is a new value-added addition to the GEO shows.
Tell us about the technical sessions at GEO? What topics will they cover?
GEO will have a whole new look compared to previous GEO shows. In addition to the conventional themes, GEO will address the role of AI in Geosciences, the role of Geosciences in the field of mineralogy, hydrology and delivering sustainable energy to the world such as through Geothermal Energy. In 2021 GEO we have a dedicated session on Geosciences applications in other fields than fossil fuels.
In total GEO will host over 400 presentations in 48 sessions and posters in addition to 6 plenary and special sessions addressing important themes and topics that are highly important to the Geoscientific community.