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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 25-30%
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 capacity.
"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.
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