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Gulf Downstream Association Holds Board of Directors Meeting and Annual SPOCS & SMES Meet for Member Companies

Location : N/A
 16 January 2020

Manama, Bahrain – 16 January 2020 - The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) held its fourth quarterly Board of Directors Meeting at its headquarters at GBCorp Tower, Bahrain Financial Harbour. The Board of Directors went on to attend key sessions of the GDA Annual Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) Meet at the Wyndham Grand, Manama, which kicked off in the morning and was attended by over 50 high level representatives of GDA’s member companies, which comprise a mix of regional and international players, which in addition to the national oil companies of the Gulf region such as Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Refining and other global producers include a range of Refining and Marketing Companies, Consultants, Technology Providers, EPC Contractors, other Service Providers and Academia.

At the quarterly Board meeting, members discussed matters relating to the “GDA International Downstream Conference & Exhibition 2020”, which is scheduled to take place from 20 – 22 October 2020 at the Bahrain International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Mr. Suleman A. Al-Bargan, Vice President of Domestic Refining and NGL Fractionation - Saudi Aramco (and GDA Chairman) along with the other Board Members congratulated Mr. Ebrahim Talib, Deputy Chief Executive - Bapco (and GDA Board Member and Financial Secretary) on his appointment as the Conference Chair and Mr. Waleed K. Al Bader, CEO - Kuwait National Petroleum Company (and GDA Vice Chairman) on his appointment as Conference Co-Chair. Additionally, the Board also reviewed and approved the budget for 2020.

Simultaneously, the Association’s SPOCs and SMEs Annual Meet started with a series of presentations from the Association’s Technical Committees focusing on the major knowledge contributions impacting members’ businesses and major current and future initiatives that will have a high impact on members’ activities. Presentations were made by all nine of the committees followed by a Q&A session. GDA’s committees work across Health, Safety & Environment, Leadership & People Development, Operational Excellence, Project Management, Plant Reliability & Integrity, Energy Management, Industry Trends, Technologies and Commissioning & Start Up.

The remainder of the day’s programme featured highspeed networking and three panel discussions looking at: How SPOCs can help GDA grow, the major industry challenges that GDA’s Technical Committees should look into and how SPOCs can help increase member’s contributions to the GDA Knowledge Hub, which already holds a wealth of tools and resources for members. Panels were followed by a reception and luncheon, wherein the GDA Chairman Mr. Suleman Al-Bargan welcomed all the GDA Member representations. The post-lunch session included a presentation on GDA Knowledge Hub by GDA’s Technical Manager, Mr. Raj Jhajharia, and a presentation on the upcoming GDA Conference 2020 by the GDA Secretary General Mr. Audah Al Ahmadi on behalf of the Conference Chairman, Mr. Ebrahim Talib. The event was concluded with an open session of Q&A with the GDA Board and closing remarks from GDA Secretary General Mr. Audah Al Ahmadi.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Audah, said, “We’re delighted with the strong cooperation that GDA has helped to facilitate across our members on key issues that shaped the industry in 2019 while simultaneously developing strategies and initiatives to address challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Association and our members in 2020. During the past year, we successfully implemented our online platform, the “Knowledge Hub”, started a first of its kind initiative in downstream industry, “GDA Cross Company Mentoring” program and took part in strategic conferences and exhibitions such as ADIPEC, MERTC, MEPEC and WEC, among others. We now look forward to our upcoming GDA International Downstream Conference & Exhibition 2020 taking place in October under the theme Downstream Turning Points – “Capitalising on Transformation”, which will see the culmination of our work over the past year and bring together even more industry players and participants to discuss issues of note and enhance the kinds of knowledge sharing, joint action and collaboration that GDA was established to enhance and promote.”

To find out more about GDA and the 2020 Conference, please visit: and


The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) was established by its Founding Companies from Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). GDA is a pioneering, non-profit association and “point of reference” for all downstream players including industry professionals, corporate executives and legislators seeking to foster excellence and drive advancement through mutually beneficial engagement and industry collaboration. The Association was established to aggregate the scattered wealth of knowledge that lies across the global downstream industry in order to accelerate development and serve as a catalyst for strong and sustainable industry growth in the Gulf region and worldwide. GDA takes a leading role in supporting the local, regional and international industry through sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices. The approval on the establishment of the Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) took place at the Cabinet meeting in the Kingdom of Bahrain held on 11 July 2016. For more information and membership inquiries, contact +973 1711 6000 or visit the Association’s website at