Oman to host 16th International Gas Union Research Conference

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MUSCAT — In 2020, Muscat will host the prestigious International Gas Union’s (IGU) 16th International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC 2020) in collaboration with Oman LNG, attracting many senior-level executives and technical gas experts from the global gas and energy industry. This is the first time the conference will be hosted in the Middle East, under the patronage of the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

The event will welcome a host of international and local guests to join the three-day conference and exhibition focused on gas innovations for a sustainable future; a conversation which is due to provide a unique insight into the technologies of tomorrow within this ever-evolving sector.

IGRC is a triennial event organized by IGU, expected to attract over 1,000 participants representing more than 40 countries. IGRC 2020 will highlight the research, development and innovation aspects of the ever-growing gas and energy industry. Additionally, the esteemed event will bring enormous socio-economic benefits to Oman and promote the country as an important foothold to hold conferences, exhibitions and events. It will also leverage the Sultanate’s strategic location and enhance the country’s profile as a preferred destination for doing business.

The event could not have come at a better time, as 2020 marks a significant milestone in which Oman LNG will celebrate 20 years of its existence since its start of operations in the year 2000. Oman LNG was established through the visionary leadership of Sultan Qaboos bin Said by a Royal Decree in 1994.

According to the IGU, Oman supplies a critical three percent (3%) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet demand in the international LNG trade and its volumes are pivotal in keeping the balance of supply and demand. With natural gas as the world’s cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel, Oman LNG plays an important role, bringing energy to many corners of the world, helping to diversify the country’s economy.

Oman LNG, as the longest existing IGU member in Oman, has invested great efforts to bring prestigious gas events to Oman, to be able to showcase the multitude of wonders this country has in abundance – from its strategic geographic location and well-developed venues to the beautiful natural splendor.

The LNG industry is a significant contributor to a steadily increasing quality of life for citizens and residents in the Sultanate through its execution of a wide swath of social investment programs through the Oman LNG Development Foundation that addresses many economic and social needs. The export of Oman’s first cargo was in 2000 and since then, proceeds from the blossoming trade have supported, what some observers have described as an ambitious diversification program that has spurred growth in other important sectors of the economy, Including tourism, agriculture and the spread of vital infrastructure that supports business and daily life.

During IGRC 2020 press conference which was held on Sept. 5, Prof. (JM) Joe Kang, IGU’s president, said: ”Research, development and innovation are fundamental to the future of the natural gas industry and it is particularly exciting to bring IGRC to this region for the first time.”

Khalid Al Massan, CEO of Oman LNG Development Foundation and Chair of IGRC 2020 National Organising Committee, said “we are delighted to host such prestigious event to Oman. The IGRC 2020 will captivate the attention of thousands of senior leaders, partners and experts of the gas industry together. Such conference will accommodate a great atmosphere of sharing invaluable insights on the role of natural gas today, and in the future. The timing of the event cannot be better as it comes amid ambitious gas discoveries and a booming gas industry. We take this opportunity to thank all members of the IGU Executive Committee who marked Oman as the next destination for such a prestigious conference. Such outstanding success is attributed to the on-going cooperation between the International Gas Union, and Oman LNG with the immense support of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre”.

Rodney Cox, Events Director of the IGU, said "the IGU is very pleased to welcome Muscat, Oman, as the host of IGRC 2020. IGU Charter Member, Oman LNG, has been an active contributor to IGU and hosting IGRC 2020 builds on this ongoing support. We look forward to an outstanding conference that supports both IGU's global objectives, as well as a legacy for the natural gas industry in Oman and the region."

The Sultanate is widely recognized as a global leader in enhanced recovery technologies. This is largely thanks to the country's focus on research, and the key reason behind Oman’s application to host IGRC 2020 was to further Oman’s ambition of becoming a knowledge economy and to transform the commodity reliant country into one that helps shape the world’s thinking. The congress will help Oman realize its vision and help contribute to disseminating the best practices and research in enhanced oil and gas recovery.

Eng. Said Al Shanfari, CEO of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) the official venue partner of IGRC 2020, said “it is a privilege to be able to showcase Oman and OCEC as the leading venue of choice in the Arabian Gulf and we are honored to host the 2020 IGRC Conference.”

“OCEC has now won 22 international and regional conferences that will be hosted in the Sultanate over the next few years, contributing over OMR24.5 million ($63.5 million) and we look forward to welcoming the IGRC delegates from 24-26 February 2020,” he added. —SG


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