The UAE planned to increase its crude oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2017 to contribute to the stability of global markets and to ensure long-term obligations with consumers, as world oil demand is expected by the national oil industry leaders to increase to 105 million bpd by 2030 and even up to 112 million bpd according to optimistic scenarios.
Ways to reach this target were explained by senior officials from the national oil industry at the 21st Annual Middle East Petroleum and Gas, which was held in Abu Dhabi on April 22nd, 2013.
The Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, in his speech at the conference, said: "the UAE is seeking to increase its production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day of crude oil to contribute to the stability of global markets and ensure the long-term obligations to consumers." The recent events, he added, have proven that focusing on the security of energy is necessary in order to address natural disasters and geopolitical tensions as well as other unanticipated situations which occur periodically in the world, the minister noted.
"In this regard the government of the UAE undertook to construct an oil pipeline connecting Habshan-Fujairah to guarantee crude oil supplied to the world market." According to him, success in the application of these technologies has generated new horizons in oil and gas production. As a consequence hydrocarbon reserves in difficult and complex reservoirs can be calculated and gas and oil shale are being produced from unconventional sources, according to the minister.
"In the UAE we are utilising the opportunities afforded to us by these new technologies to the utmost degree. There is no doubt that the days of easy discoveries are over and future exploration for oil could be difficult and costly. The optimal path forward is rooted in the employment of best international practices to improve enhanced oil recovery," he said.
Affirming that "this is the opportune moment for investment in the hydrocarbon industry', he said some scenarios stipulate that world oil demand will increase to 105 million bpd by 2030. Other more optimistic scenarios stipulate the rise in demand to reach 112 million bpd. Nonetheless, as a consequence of the fact that many oil fields in the world have reached maturity many oil producing countries will not be in a position to significantly increase their production." Global economic and population growth results in continual increase in the demand for energy. Within this context I would like to draw attention to the economic growth evidenced within the emerging markets of Asia and South America leading to the rise in energy demands in the region.
Based on this perspective, the government of the UAE has prioritized the energy sector in line with the following considerations: A- Cooperating with members of the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to contribute to the balance and stability of world oil markets.
B- Diversifying outsources of energy through investment in complimentary renewable sources, particularly increasing utilization of solar and atomic energy.
C- Employing cutting- edge technologies to discover and exploit hydrocarbons D)Protection of the environment and conservation of energy usage in the UAE.
Based on the above highlighted themes, the Ministry of Energy is currently developing a comprehensive strategy at the national level, taking into consideration the continually increasing local demand in energy, the importance of diversification of energy sources, conservation of energy and protection of the environment.
Nuclear energy is expected to account for 25% of power production within the UAE through the operation of four nuclear power plants which will generate 5.6 gig watts of electricity. The UAE has already embarked on generating electricity through its solar power plant Shams1 with a generation capacity of 100 MW.
Shams1 is considered the largest of its kind in the region. Furthermore, the UAE is working on a strategy that will raise the percentage of energy from renewable sources.
In addition to the that, recent events have proven that focusing on the security of energy is necessary in order to address natural disasters and geopolitical tensions as well as other unanticipated situations which occur periodically in the world. In this regard the government of the UAE undertook to construct an oil pipeline connecting Habshan - Fujairah to guarantee crude oil supplied to world markets. The UAE is also hard at work to raise its crude oil production capacity to 3.5 million bpd in an effort to contribute to the stability of world oil markets as well as live up to our long-term commitments to consumers.
In spite of the uncertainty facing the oil industry in general and demand for oil in particular, it is certain, according to the energy minister, that the era of oil is still flourishing and demand in the long-term is expected to increase.
In addition, oil producing countries such as the UAE are continuing with their investments in production capacities to meet the steadily increasing demand.