Oil to be in Focus at Abu Dhabi Energy Meet

  • 17 November 2014

Important issues affecting the oil and gas industry will be discussed as part of an annual energy conference being held at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (Ecssr) in Abu Dhabi from Tuesday.

The title of the conference is ‘Future energy trends, Innovation, markets and geopolitics.’ A number of high profile dignitaries including Jose Maria Aznar, former president of Spain, Suhail Mohammad Al Mazroui, UAE energy minister and Abbas Ali Naqi, secretary general of Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries are attending the two day conference.

Global oil prices have plunged since peaking in June. From $115 (Dh422) a barrel in June, Brent crude fell to 78.42 on Monday. Goldman Sachs predicted that oil prices will continue to slide further next year.

An energy expert in the UAE said oil prices will be volatile due to supply-demand equation. “We might see some improvement in the next six to eight months due to the demand from emerging markets,” said Saleem Khokhar, Head of Equities at NBAD’s Asset Management.

Oil companies have said that they are concerned over the falling oil prices and said that they are looking at projects which can be resilient even at lower prices. Mubadala petroleum said they are looking at projects which can sustain the decrease in the prices. Countries like Iran face a budget deficit because of the situation.

Iran’s petroleum minister said that oil prices are unlikely to rebound as they keep falling in world markets, according to Iran’s website Shana. “A return to past oil prices is difficult, but we have to modify the price to a level allowed by new market conditions,” Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said following a meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez in Tehran.

The minister said that Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) member states are expected to bring their views closer together when they meet on November. The minister has been touring the Gulf states to garner support.

Dr Sara Vakhshouri, president of the US based SVB Energy International will talk about Iran, potential and implications of a full return to energy markets during the conference.

Ahmad Mohammad Al Astad, deputy director general for community services at Ecssr said the conference comes up at a time when significant developments are taking place in the energy sector including drop in oil prices, shale gas revolution in the US and the Russia-Ukraine crisis. “There is a pressure on the energy side. Prices are going down and producers are concerned. The conference will discuss these topics apart from geopolitical developments in the region.”

At least 400 people from oil and gas industry and other private companies are likely to attend the event, Astad said.

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 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 effects on global energy markets. The fourth and final panel, ‘Energy Market Developments and their Effects on the GCC,’ will explore market dynamics and policies, with a focus on political, economic and environmental factors influencing the policies of governments and industry.

Held annually since the Ecssr’s establishment 20 years ago, the conference has consistently attracted the world’s foremost energy experts, decision makers, as well as other high-profile participants. Each year the conference proceedings are published in book form and are distributed worldwide in both Arabic and English.