A relentless focus on operational efficiency, while balancing market conditions with long-term future growth, requires a careful, calibrated and agile response from the oil and gas industry, according to H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Speaking at the third annual Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, in Abu Dhabi, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said while global economic growth may slow in the short term, long-term fundamentals remain robust, with prosperity spreading from the traditional centers to the rest of the world at an unprecedented rate.
By 2030, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said there will be three billion new consumers – and as breakthrough technologies continue to enhance human progress – demand for energy over the coming decades will only increase. For energy companies, this multi-layered landscape means energy companies must focus on what they can control, while staying ahead of projected demand as the world enters the 4th Industrial Age.
“At ADNOC, we call this mission ‘Oil and Gas 4.0,’ H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said. “It means embedding a tech-focused, digital-first mindset within every aspect of our business, driving our performance, energizing our partnerships, and empowering our people.
“Predictive analytics is helping to reduce our maintenance costs, prevent shutdowns and avoid system failures. Big data is allowing us to make real-time decisions in response to market movements, in line with industry trends and ahead of the competition. And blockchain is generating valuable efficiencies by transforming how we track the transaction of every hydrocarbon molecule we produce, from first oil to final sale.
“As we prepare for any market uncertainties that may lie ahead, minimizing costs and maximizing margins is mission-critical. By embracing artificial intelligence and digitization, we are building resilience and driving profitability across our operations,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added.
In response to the changes taking place in the world’s energy markets, he reinforced how ADNOC continues to optimize its resources and engage with strategic partners, who bring new technology and open up growth markets. In addition, by thinking differently, applying technology creatively and adjusting its business model, ADNOC has begun to unlock huge reserves of previously uneconomical gas, that will put it on a path to gas self-sufficiency and ultimately transition the UAE to become a net exporter of natural gas.
The new approach to partnerships, H.E. Dr Al Jaber stressed, is also at the heart of ADNOC’s US $45 billion Downstream expansion strategy. As demand grows for the plastics and polymers that enable the modern world, ADNOC is creating the single largest integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in the world, in Ruwais. Best in class value add partners will plug into an ecosystem that will integrate refining, petrochemical, conversion and manufacturing facilities into one state-of-the-art industrial hub.
Referring to the decision to open up a group of new onshore and offshore exploration blocks for competitive bidding, as part of ADNOC’s strategy to increase its oil and gas capacity, H.E. Dr Al Jaber announced that Italy’s Eni and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP), have been awarded the first two blocks. “These two offshore blocks, covering 8,000 square kilometers, represent the beginning of a new wave of exploration that will leverage our resources and further enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as an essential energy provider to the world,” he said.
The two-day Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum has been convened in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, ADNOC, and Mubadala Investment Company as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The two-day event gathers international and regional political, industry, and thought leaders to set the global energy agenda for the year and examine the longer-term geopolitical and geo-economic implications of the changing energy system.
The conference agenda this year is focused on the future of oil, the digitization of energy, diversification in energy companies and countries, and has a regional focus on East Asian energy demand and energy innovation. Last year’s event brought over 450 people to Abu Dhabi from around the world, including CEOs, Ministers, global media, and industry experts.
The Atlantic Council is a Washington DC based think tank. It promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs and provides a forum for navigating the economic and political changes defining the 21st century by informing and galvanizing its influential network of global leaders, with the aim of creating a more secure and prosperous world.