In step with the acceleration of all things digital, this year's Rio Oil & Gas conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is getting a new look as the event goes online.

With the tagline “A New Era is Beginning”, the biennial event has followed in the footsteps of other global conferences in going digital for its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organised by the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP), the Rio Oil & Gas congress is a three-day event starting on 1 December that promises to deliver an immersive experience loaded with virtual content and presentations.

The 2020 instalment will include six plenary sessions, six chief executive panels and 24 special technical sessions divided across two rooms taking place simultaneously.

Pre-salt activities will likely be a hot topic at this year’s event, as output from the prolific play already accounts for more than two-thirds of Brazil’s total hydrocarbons production, which stood at about 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in October.

One benefit of having a digital show is that is allows speakers and delegates alike to tune in from anywhere in the world.

Among the international panelists confirmed for Rio Oil & Gas 2020 are Equinor's new chief executive Anders Opedal, Total counterpart Patrick Pouyanne, and Daniel Yergin, vice chairman on consultant IHS Markit.

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They will be joined by Petrobras president Roberto Castello Branco and the local country managers of an array of international oil companies with operations in Brazil, including ExxonMobil's Carla Lacerda, Andre Araujo from Shell, Chevron's Mariano Vela and Miguel Pereira from Galp Energia.

The IBP is also making plans to organise the 2021 edition of Rio Oil & Gas from 21 to 24 September as a hybrid show, with a mix of face-to-face and digital interaction