Tech summit discusses future direction of oil industry
KUWAIT: Honeywell Technology convened a two-day Technology Summit yesterday for Kuwait’s oil and gas industry leaders. The summit discussed the future direction of the industry, in support of the country’s long-term vision to become a global hub for oil, gas and petrochemicals industry. The event, held under the patronage of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), was attended by more than 300 industry representatives from major local organizations such as Kuwait Oil Company, Kuwait Integrated Petrochemical Industries Company, EQUATE Petrochemical Company and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.
In addition to the distinguished industry guests, the event also welcomed Patricia L. Fietz, Chargé d’affaires, US Embassy, State of Kuwait. Fahad Al-Humaidy Al-Daihany, Deputy CEO for Mina Ahmadi Refinery from KNPC commented, “As we work towards our national goals and visions, it is critical that we implement the latest solutions that will help drive growth and achieve greater results. We believe events like these help shape new strategies for the future and provide us with an opportunity to develop skills and transfer knowledge. We are delighted to lead this movement towards smarter technologies within the energy sector and we thank our long-standing partner Honeywell for its commitment to Kuwait’s ongoing development.”
The Honeywell Technology Summit showcased the importance of connected technologies and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for the future development of the country’s energy sector and the people who work within it. Digitization is expected to play a key role in maximizing the future value of the industry, which is a core priority outlined in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s 2030 Oil and Gas Strategy. This drive towards greater connectivity is also an important focus in achieving the goals set out in Kuwait national development plan 2035.
“Technology and innovation are transforming the way we do business in Kuwait, particularly in the oil and gas sector,” said George Bou Mitri, President for Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, Honeywell. “Connected technologies are making processes more efficient and productive, and we are excited to be a part of this transition. We have been in Kuwait for more than half a century and this wealth of experience has enabled us to play a central part in the development of some of the country’s most significant oil and gas projects,” he said.
“We are thrilled with today’s event and look forward to continuing to support local industries in Kuwait as they work towards achieving the goals of Vision 2035,” he added. Bou Mitri said Honeywell’s presence in Kuwait is evident especially in the oil and gas sectors which spans more than 50 years now. One of the subjects discussed in the summit was the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or the technology that enable systems to be connected to most of the devices may it be mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IIoT is about connecting assets in a plant, connecting processes and people; it’s a core multiplier to help our customers. This is for the industry to help them do their jobs, for example we are doing this in the oil and gas in North of Kuwait for production efficiency. In the coming year or so, it will be adopted on a faster pace. The timing for this year’s summit is crucial because it can really help in many ways. Kuwait’s plan is to expand the production up to 4 million barrel per day, the challenge is to manage these facilities, and the technological advancement happening on global level is crucial.
“It is a good thing that they are adopting the technology locally. We have projects today, you have thousands of people working there, the people are operating it, how do you ensure that you have the people ready to operate and what the technology can bring you today to enable a productive, safe, complaint operations of these facilities; the tools we are operating now are exhibited in the venue; these are the tools that can support the operation across the board and these are the technology we offer. The Honeywell Company is helping industries to jump to the next level and make it more connected and business oriented to improve business operations,” Bou Mitri said.
According to Ujwal Kumar, Honeywell Vice President Global Sales, Kuwait is one of the key growth platforms for Honeywell. “We expect our Kuwaiti customers to invest in digitalization, new service models and we are very excited about the summit. Here we can bring in technology ideas around the globe, share and brainstorm with the leaders, operators and the technical people,” he said.
On the issue of whether technology is reducing the use of manpower in a workplace, Kumar said it hasn’t. “Technology is helping people get more (production wise) in many ways; it is leveraging the technology to support people by working in a safer environment,” Kumar noted. “We are helping Kuwait towards the 2030 vision. We need more people to get ready for the growth,” he added.
Honeywell also supports people in developing skills through continues training sessions and workshops to be able to cope up with the fast changing tech-savvy environment. “We still have the traditional way of sending people to places, like London, so as to acquire knowledge and improve their skills and efficiencies, but on other hand we have digital tools or competency management tools to help them; we have that available in hand,” he added.
The drive towards digitization in Kuwait forms part of a wider Middle East picture, where digital markets are expanding at an overall compound annual growth rate of 12 percent. It is estimated that digitization could add as much as $ 820 billion to regional GDP by 2020. Studies also show that the adoption of digital solutions within the energy sector is increasing as IT spending within the Middle East oil and gas industry grew to around $1.66 billion last year.
“Kuwait has ambitious plan; Honeywell is here to support them with regards to aligning with Kuwait growth. We are very much committed to sharing them through people and developing local people’s competency and skills. They will invest in new areas and we are committed to bringing them new technologies that can help in the new era of technology, we are bringing a new generation of growth through digital tools, we have the solid foundation in gathering data’s and analyzing them in the most secure and safest way, we think that cyber security is an integral part of new age era and we are bringing it to them,” he reiterated. “We have invested a lot in people and technology; in the R & D department, we have spent millions of dollars to help them,” Kumar said.
Honeywell has a long history of supporting Kuwait’s industries – including petrochemicals – through leading-edge technologies, efficient business solutions, local training, and research and development initiatives. Over the last 50 years, Honeywell has delivered more than 2,000 projects for more than 165 customers in Kuwait and is currently involved in supporting the development of several of the country’s hospitals, airports, refineries, hotels, and education institutes.
At the event, Honeywell showcased a complete set of secure, IIoT-ready solutions across all elements of the industrial internet. Along with the Connected Plant technologies, the technology summit presented the latest innovations for the oil and gas industry including:
Process Reliability Advisor is part of Honeywell Connected Plant and uses Honeywell UOP process models for ongoing monitoring, early event detection and mitigation of performance issues before they become costly.
Maintenance Training Simulator is a hands-on demonstration of the next generation of mixed reality worker training, which can enhance skills and reduce classroom time.
Enterprise ICS Cyber Security Solution combines the ICS ShieldTM platform with Risk Manager and other Honeywell cyber security technologies to provide multi-vendor, multi-site cyber security that’s scalable to meet customer needs. Safety Manager SC provides an “out of the box” SIL certified safety platform that can be easily configured to meet SIL2 and SIL3 applications across the plant ranging from small packaged systems to large distributed architectures.
Experion Local Control Network (LCN) enables customers to use their TPS/TDC investment as the foundation for incremental process automation upgrades for a secure, seamless integration with Experion PKS.
ControlEdge PLC, when combined with Experion, dramatically reduces integration costs for ancillary plant operations, minimizes downtime through unified support, decreases risk with embedded cyber security, and lowers total cost of ownership through extended system lifecycle.
By Ben Garcia & Agencies