International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 

Fueling Global Recovery Through Sustainable Energy

21st to 23rd of February, 2022

In late February of 2022, the 14th edition of IPTC was held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the second time at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre (RICEC), with Saudi Aramco as the exclusive host. The conference was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The conference was inaugurated by HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Minister of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. IPTC is an inter-societal conference consisting of Geologists (AAPG), the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Over three days, a remarkable 30,000 attendees from over 70 countries attended IPTC. Visitors consisted of ministers, top industry figures and executives, technical experts, professionals, and university students. IPTC 2022 set a new record in attendance exceeding that previously held by IPTC 2020, held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, by over 10,000 additional attendees. The opening ceremony was held on the 20th of February, 2022, with a keynote speech by HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, followed by remarks from Saudi Aramco Chairman of the Board of Directors, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. The ministerial session was also held on opening day with energy ministers from Saudi Arabia and UAE, oil ministers from Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, and Egypt’s petroleum and mineral resources minister.

The conference’s program included

  • Ministerial Plenary Session
  • CEO Plenary Session
  • Four Executive Plenary Sessions
  • IPTC Society Presidents Panel
  • Two Ask the Expert Sessions
  • Diversity and Inclusion Workshop
  • Emerging Leaders Forum
  • Education Week  
  • Technical & E-poster Sharing Sessions

The exhibition consisted of 130 exhibitors from over 70 countries with state-of-the-art technologies on display. The setting created the perfect environment fostering knowledge exchange among delegates and visitors. Over 100 technical sessions were held throughout the conference, covering 50 technical categories and 530+ topics. The second day of the conference also coincided with the National Saudi Founder’s Day on the 22nd of February, 2022. To celebrate the special day, visitors were treated to a demonstration of the “Alardah” at the exhibition hall, a folkloric Saudi group dance with swords and drums. Finally, the conference ended with the customary passing of the IPTC flag to the 15th host of IPTC, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP). IPTC 2023 will officially be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 28th of February to 2nd of March 2023 under the theme of “Balancing the Energy Landscape through Innovation and Sustainability.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia looks forward to hosting the 16th edition of IPTC in 2024

IPTC 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

Beyond Diversity: Focusing on Inclusion

By Rowa Tawfiq, SPE-KSA D&I Team Member

The “I” in D&”I” was the focus of the IPTC Diversity and Inclusion workshop chairperson, Najwa Azaimi’s opening remarks. The time has come to emphasize inclusion, especially with rapidly changing ecosystems around the world. The past years have seen an increasing trend in the adoption of artificial intelligence, introducing another aspect of diversity and inclusion. “D&I is no longer about race, gender, age,” said Najwa as she welcomed a special guest to the stage. A robot, who was deemed the “new face of D&I.” Within the next decade, we will see AIs as new members of our workforce, and it is our responsibility to embrace them and incorporate them into our workplace, as we did for others.

The day-long workshop also included facilitated sessions, panel discussions, and interviews hosting industry leaders from across the world to discuss the newly evolving trends of D&I.

Holding Courageous and Difficult Conversations that Matter  

The first facilitated session, moderated by Christian Hobson of Saudi Aramco, hosted Faisal Alhajji, Executive Director of Human Resources at Saudi Aramco, and Aseel Humoodi, Senior Vice President, Human Capital, and Administration at Borouge.

The panelists shed light on the difference between tolerance and acceptance. In an ever-increasingly diverse world, we need to understand tolerance and differentiate it from total acceptance of differences among others. Tolerance means going along with what you don’t fully accept in your heart.

The discussion also included various steps to hold difficult conversations and approach them without making assumptions but with an attitude of tolerance.

Driving Sustainable Results through D&I  

The concept of sustainability has been one of the hot topics recently, especially in the oil and gas industry. However, we rarely incorporate D&I into the discussion. Moderating the second panel was Rowa Tawfiq of Saudi Aramco, joined by Ziad Jeha, Vice President and General Manager, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain at Schlumberger, and Hind Alzahid, Riyadh Human Capital Leader, as panelists.

The panel discussed various aspects of D&I strategies and policies and how they can contribute to creating sustainable businesses and dealing with the complexity of a rapidly changing world.

The panelists also shared their success stories of how small changes incorporated into business models could lead to impactful results.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence through the Lenses of Inclusion 

The next facilitated session dove deeper into the role of D&I in the realm of artificial intelligence. Moderating this session was Aseel Al Omair of Saudi Aramco, who hosted the panelists, Nabil Al Nuaim, Vice President of Digital Transformation at Saudi Aramco, and Moudhi Aljamea, Vice President at STC.

The endless debate of whether AI will replace humans in the future was one of the topics discussed during this panel. The panelists stressed that we need to understand the role of AI better and disseminate this knowledge to foster an inclusive workplace. On the other hand, developing AI can introduce some bias from developers, which was an engaging concept amongst the audience.

Equity vs. Equality 

The last session of the day was moderated by Mohammed AlAbbad of Saudi Aramco, who interviewed Nicole Durham, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Baker Hughes. The moderator started by engaging the audience and asking them how they felt when they were treated with equality and fairness at work. “Empowered” was the word that was echoed by Nicole as she initiated the discussion on the topic. Nicole stressed on the difference between equality, which means equal treatment regardless of any specific needs or individual differences. On the other hand, equity means everyone is provided with what they need to succeed. Therefore, equity and equality are two processes by which we can achieve fairness.  


IPTC 2022 Education Week Program 

By Asma Al-Ahmadi, SPE-KSA Student Outreach Team Member and Fatima Almarzooq, SPE-KSA SandRose  Magazine Associate Editor 

The International Petroleum Technology Conference hosted Education Week Program for the 2nd time in Saudi Arabia. The program aims to create a forum tailored for a diverse group of top-achieving students from across the globe to aid them in transitioning from academia to industry. The education week program was attended by 95 of the brightest students from more than 19 countries who were selected from a pool of 1200 applicants to travel to Riyadh to participate in the Education Week Program of IPTC 2022. 

The opening ceremony was held in the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in the heart of Riyadh city. IPTC Young Member Activities Committee Chair, Hind Al-Rayes, commenced the event with a welcoming message to the students encouraging them to make the most of this experience to develop their technical and professional capabilities.

During Education Week, numerous events and programs were held to develop students’ technical, interpersonal, and communication skills. In addition, students were given the opportunity to meet and engage with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), industry leaders, and professionals.   

The organizing team put together a diverse technical and cultural agenda for students to expose them to the energy industry and Saudi Arabia. This consisted of the following:

  • Geological visit and Cultural Experience: Visit Dahil Heet locality and cultural visit to Najd Village to understand the regional geology and to expose students to Saudi culture 
  • Technical Development: Organize hands-on sessions with professionals on geo-steering and field development, applying the knowledge they gained over the week by completing and competing in the field development challenge.  
  • Professional Development and Networking: Learn from industry veterans’ experience by attending panel discussions with executives in academia and industry. Gain an appreciation and understanding of the industry’s future challenges and opportunities by engaging in rich discussions with professionals and executives from the industry. 

The event concluded by recognizing the winners of the field development contest and distributing participation tokens presented to all students in recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Education Week Program.

Student Testimonials on IPTC 2022 Education Week 

The outcome of this enriching and the highly motivating journey has left a significant mark on the participants.


Davi Almeida

Petroleum Engineering Student and education week participant

Davi Almeida from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) highlights how IPTC 2022 has been an enriching experience for him; he met and worked with a diverse group of students and learned from experienced professionals in the industry. Now that he has completed the 3-day program, Davi wishes to continue the same momentum going back to University.

“I used to think that my high grades were not valuable because I couldn’t get an internship. But, I am now mind blown to see the results of my hard work.”

 – Davi Almeida, Student, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro 

Bariya Khan from the Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (Pakistan) shared that she was thrilled to work in an innovative environment and to have the chance to attend enriching technical sessions, especially those focused on environmental sustainability. In addition, she also remarked that attending IPTC 2022 educational week allowed her to link the theories she learned inside the classrooms to industry applications. 

“Attending IPTC allowed me to engage with different professional societies, be immersed in an innovative learning environment.” 

– Bariya Khan, Student, the Dawood University of Engineering and Technology 

Bariya Khan

Petroleum Engineering Student and education week participant

Diana La Cruz Martinez

Petroleum Engineering Student and education week participant

Diana La Cruz Martinez, a petroleum engineering student at the University of Zulia (Venezuela), shared that although this isn’t her first time applying to IPTC, she took the past rejection letter in stride, focusing on her self-growth and development, which got her accepted into IPTC 2022—adding that IPTC was an excellent opportunity for her to not only gain access to technical information but to network with bright-minded industry professionals from all over the world.

“For me, the experience at IPTC Education Week has been unforgettable. My main takeaway is that consistency and discipline will take you farther along your journey, no matter how challenging life is. .” 

– Diana La Cruz, Student, University of Zulia

Aspiring leader Namugwe Victoria, Petroleum and Mineral Geoscience student at the Nkumba University, Uganda, is part of the organizing committee of the Young Professionals Debate Club in her hometown Uganda. Driven by passion and curiosity about the Oil and Gas Industry, Namugwe sought answers to critical questions surrounding the industry’s sustainable development. In doing so, Namugwe hopes to return to Uganda with her objective set to disseminate the knowledge and essential role that oil and gas play in our day-to-day lives.   

“Attending IPTC 2022 broadened my depth and breadth of knowledge. Going back to Uganda, I am more confident to share how important energy is to our day-to-day lives with other young professionals in my country.” 

– Namugwe Victoria, Student, Nkumba University

Namugwe Victoria

Petroleum Engineering Student and education week participant

Riadh Goucem

Mechanical Engineering Student and education week participant

Riadh Goucem, a mechanical engineering student, shares how enriching his experience was attending the four-day educational week program at IPTC 2022. Riadh learned about the oil discovery in Saudi Arabia and visited geological sites showing the Dahl Heet locality, a cave leading to a breathtaking underground lake. Also, Riadh shares how enriching his experience was at IPTC 2022 Educational Week; learning about the geology and petroleum system in Saudi Arabia, meeting people with various cultural backgrounds and mindsets from all over the world, and connecting with industry leaders from around the world. 

“What a rich experience I had during IPTC Education Week. The perfect blend of stress and excitement allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and further solidified my interest in the field.”

– Riadh Goucem, Student, University of Boumerdes