KHALEEJ TIMES, Sunday, Jan 12, 2020 | Jamadi Al Awwal 17, 1441
UAE energy resources well-secured
The UAE ensures energy security in the region through partnerships and
investments both inside and outside the country, and its wise decisions and
policies have guaranteed stability in the market amid ongoing geopolitical
tensions in parts of the region, top ministers said on Saturday.
Looking forward to 2020 with optimism, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al
Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, said the country is investing
heavily to secure its energy resources.
"In the UAE, we are optimistic about the future of the region. We are for
de-escalation of any tension; there is a wisdom that things will not escalate,
and wisdom will prevail. What's important for us is to ensure that we as a
region, from where most of Opec production comes from, is stable. With the GCC
states and all the good work we are doing at Opec and Opec+, we are optimistic
that our efforts are going to continue and 2020 is going to be a good year like
2019," Al Mazrouei said at the opening of the fourth Atlantic Council Global
Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.
"Energy security to us is ensuring that we supply ourself. So we have a plan
within the UAE," the minister said and noted close cooperation with state-run
Adnoc to have 'energy mix and security' for the UAE.
Additionally, along with the partners, Al Mazrouei said: "We are committed to
ensure that they have ample supply of hydrocarbons and we are investing heavily
to ensure that energy security for the world or our part of it to the east is
well secured. We are bringing new partners with us in these investments and I
think they believe in the security of the UAE, and that why they are investing
and increasing their investments. So that's what my ministry takes care of -
energy security. We are in a very good position to secure ourselves and keep
securing our customers in the east."
Al Mazrouei said the decisions taken in December of output cuts until the end of
March has prepared everyone for the slowdown in the first quarter of 2020. He
also noted Russia was fully committed to the Opec+ agreement.
"All countries, now more than 20, in Opec+, are committed not to raise prices,
not to just benefit, but to deliver a balance and ensure the world is
well-supplied. We care about consuming nations and will continue to work with
them to drive prosperity," he said while giving a optimistic outlook for 2020.
Energy demand to grow
Meanwhile, Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group
CEO of Adnoc, noted that geopolitical tensions had "dissipated over the past few
days and wisdom, balance and diplomacy appear to be prevailing".
"While we continue to live with some uncertainties, the global economy going
into 2020 appears to be in better shape than last year. With trade tensions
easing, manufacturing showing signs of renewed growth and global consumer
spending strengthening, we can look forward with cautious optimism," he added.
Al Jaber said the need to produce more energy with fewer emissions with global
energy demand set to grow at least 25 per cent in the next two decades.
"This economic outlook means both the short and long-term demand for energy
remains very robust. Over the next two decades, we will see growth of at least
25 to 30 per cent in energy demand," the minister said.
He pointed out the UAE has grown its solar capacity 400 per cent over the last
10 years while responsibly increasing hydrocarbon production.
"We have invested in renewable energy projects approaching 12 gigawatts here in
the UAE and across 25 countries around the world. We are adding clean nuclear
power to our domestic portfolio. Working closely with the International Atomic
Energy Agency this year, the UAE will be the first country in the region to
operate a safe commercial, peaceful nuclear power station."
Al Jaber added that Adnoc was on schedule to increase its oil production
"We are well on track to increase crude oil production capacity to four million
bpd by the end of this year."
Al Jaber added the UAE was on track to achieve gas self-sufficiency and would
ultimately become a net exporter.
Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, said
nuclear energy is a proven, credible solution for spearheading the
decarbonisation of the electricity sector, complementing intermittent renewable
electricity sources to enhance energy diversification and security.
"The UAE's peaceful nuclear energy programme supports the nation's transition to
clean energy through the generation of significant volumes of clean electricity
24/7. Once fully-operational, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will produce up
to 25 per cent of the nation's electricity while preventing the release of 21
million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
These benefits, combined with the creation of high-value careers and a new
industrial sector demonstrate the value this strategic national infrastructure
project brings to the UAE, and provides a strong case study for other nations
considering peaceful nuclear energy as part of their energy portfolio," he said.
"The UAE's peaceful nuclear energy industry and the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant
will power the future growth and prosperity of our nation through the delivery
of 5,600MW of clean electricity to homes and business across the country,
preventing the release of 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions and providing
high-value jobs and educational opportunities to Emiratis for decades to come,"
Al Hammadi added.
Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive of petroleum and petrochemicals at Mubadala
Investment Company, said this forum has now developed into a major gathering of
key stakeholders in the global energy industry.
"As a global investor, we recognise the importance of dialogue and partnerships
in developing and implementing strategic solutions to some of the most urgent
challenges in which the industry is engaged, not least, that of continuing to
meet the world's growing energy needs while reducing emissions," he said.