Maintaining investment in oil and gas is critical for energy security and economic progress as current market dynamics do not reflect underlying fundamentals and long-term demand growth, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said on Wednesday.
Policies aimed at pulling the plug on the current energy system, before a new one is built “are misguided”, Dr Al Jaber, who is also the managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc and the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, told the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.
“Substantial investment” is required in the hydrocarbons sector to ensure that energy security is maintained, he said.
“We have seen that all progress starts and ends with energy security. And, as the world’s energy leaders, our responsibility in maintaining that energy security has never been more evident,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“Yes, we must all commit to mitigating the impact of global energy supplies, but let’s keep our focus on capturing carbon, not cancelling production.
“Let’s hold back emissions, not progress.”
The UAE will host the 28th session of the UN climate summit, Cop28, in 2023. The gathering, which follows on from Cop27 in Egypt next month, will try to find solutions to the threats posed by climate change as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.
“Let’s advocate for an inclusive approach that takes advantage of the expertise of the people in the oil and gas industry,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“For the energy transition to succeed, the energy professionals need to be in the room, as equal partners alongside all other stakeholders.”
The energy transition is estimated to require more than $250 trillion of investment over the next 30 years and is expected to be a gradual process.
Meanwhile, Sharif Al Olama, the ministry's undersecretary for energy and petroleum affairs, told the RAK Energy Summit on Tuesday that the UAE is taking a “pragmatic” approach to its energy transition while being “well positioned” to become a leader in the global hydrogen sector.
“The rapidly changing energy landscape over the past few years [has] shown us that we must ensure that we transition into a future that meets growing energy demands … [and] offers affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable energy systems,” Mr Al Olama said.
The UAE is keen to work with partners to mitigate the impact of hydrocarbons on the climate and build on its expertise as a regional leader in low and no carbon energy, Dr Al Jaber said.
Adnoc is investing in greater production capacity of its signature Murban crude oil, which has half the carbon intensity of the industry average.
It is also tripling its liquefied natural gas capacity to over 15 million tonnes per annum, supported by LNG production of 9.6 million tonnes a year and a shipping terminal in Fujairah.
The company is using advanced technologies to reduce the carbon intensity of its oil and gas by a further 25 per cent before the end of the decade, Dr Al Jaber said. This reduction will be aided by solar and nuclear energy.
It is also expanding in the hydrogen value chain, carbon capture and storage, he added.