Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Adnoc 'open' to more investments in its downstream business, CEO says

Dr Al Jaber remains optimistic about oil demand recovery this year, citing 'robust' growth from China

Dr Sultan Al Jaber held his first meeting with Industrial Co-ordination Council, emphasising the importance of innovation, research and development of advanced technologies. Victor Besa / The National
Dr Sultan Al Jaber held his first meeting with Industrial Co-ordination Council, emphasising the importance of innovation, research and development of advanced technologies. Victor Besa / The National

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will be sharing a number of opportunities in the downstream sector with international investors as it looks to further attract foreign direct investment into its operations, its chief executive said.

The state-owned oil company has seen a flurry of investment activity in the first half of 2020, which has been fairly downbeat for the energy industry globally.

"This is an open invitation from Adnoc, from the UAE, to the investment community to come and engage with us in an open dialogue and to identify new investment opportunities in the downstream business of oil and gas,” Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc Group chief executive, told a Ceraweek panel. He was speaking with IHS Markit vice chairman and author Dan Yergin in an online conversation.

"We will soon be sharing with the investment community a number of investment opportunities in the downstream area,” Dr Al Jaber said.

Adnoc plans to double its refining capacity and treble its petrochemicals capacity as part of a multibillion dollar drive to attract foreign direct investment into its downstream operations.

In July, the company formed a partnership with Abu Dhabi’s industrial holding company, ADQ, to develop a chemicals manufacturing hub at Ruwais, the site of its refining and chemicals activity.

Earlier this year, Adnoc also attracted a group of investors to its midstream sector. A consortium of the world’s leading infrastructure and sovereign wealth funds signed an agreement worth $20.7bn (Dh76bn) in June to invest in Abu Dhabi’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure. The infrastructure deal, which followed a similar transaction involving Adnoc’s oil pipelines in 2019, was the largest in the energy sector so far this year.

Dr Al Jaber also remained optimistic in assessing oil demand recovery this year, citing “robust” growth, particularly from China.

“The market has clearly tightened in the last two months. This happened because of the fact that economies have begun to reopen,” he said.

Supply curbs by Opec+ also helped “build confidence in the markets".

"And as a result, we are seeing a robust return of oil demand," Dr Al Jaber said.

The oil industry needs to focus on “cost” and needs to remain “cautiously optimistic" as it adjusts to the multiple structural macroeconomic changes taking place globally, he added.

Opec+ is set to convene its joint ministerial monitoring committee on August 19 to assess compliance with a pact restricting 7.7 million barrels per day of supply. Early reports suggest the group achieved 100 per cent compliance with the deal in July.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visits Adnoc facility in June

Updated: August 18, 2020 09:44 PM

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