The U.A.E. will continue to invest heavily in oil and gas output capacity to meet the growing global demand for energy products regardless of the current slump in world oil prices, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, affirmed yesterday.
'We will also work with the OPEC to stabilise the supply-demand equation...We don't see any need for politicising the oil and gas pricing mechanism,' Al Mazrouie said in a keynote address at the opening of the 20th Annual Energy Conference, organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) on November 18-19, 2014, at its office complex in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. under the title, 'Future Energy Trends: Innovation, Markets and Geopolitics.' The minister said world demand for oil and gas was rising between 1 to 1.5 per cent.
In view of the growing demand in the U.A.E. market, he said, 'We are investing more than US$70 billion to raise our production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017.' However, he added, 'Current world oil prices slump will not bode well for sustained investment by small and medium oil and gas companies, particularly in shale gas, because of high production costs.' Referring to the U.A.E.'s future energy policy, he said the U.A.E., thanks to the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has laid down sound, well-planned foundations that will enable it to address future challenges in the energy sector and ensure sustainable economic growth.
As local demand for electricity is estimated at six per cent a year, he added that the U.A.E. will depend on three different energy resources to diversify its energy mix and generate electricity.
According to plans, he went on to say, natural gas will remain the main source for generating electricity at 70 per cent by 2020, while nuclear power and renewable energy will contribute 25 per cent and five per cent, respectively.
This year's conference will address the ways in which the production and distribution of the world's energy resources are being transformed by the introduction of innovative new technologies and policies. It will consider the effects of technological development on conventional energy markets, discuss the prospects for unconventional and renewable energies, and trace the economic and geopolitical consequences of these transformations for the Gulf region and the world.
The conference will comprise four panels, each featuring three sessions. The first panel, "Innovation and Conventional Energy Sources," will put forward options for meeting long-term energy needs and discuss ways to shape and sustain our energy future and mitigate its environmental impacts. The second panel, "Innovation and Trends in Unconventional and Renewable Energies," will highlight the growing role of unconventional oil and gas, with particular reference to the recent boom in US production, as well as the latest trends in renewable technologies and their potential applications in the cities of the future. The third panel, "Emerging Geopolitical Developments and Competition," will discuss global and regional geopolitical developments and their potential effect on global energy markets. The fourth and final panel, "Energy Market Developments and their Effects on the GCC," shall explore market dynamics and policies, with a focus on political, economic and environmental factors influencing the policies of governments and industry.