The UAE’s Balanced Oil Policy

  • 6 May 2013

The UAE’s role on the world energy map is no longer that of a traditional oil exporter to international markets but is indeed much larger than that. Decades ago, the country became a key player that helps maintain global energy security with its balanced energy policy focused at realizing a number of objectives. The UAE is mainly focused on achieving national energy security, maintaining sustainable development and striking a balance between the environment and future generations’ quota of natural resources. At the same time, it is also committed to fulfilling the requirements of maintaining a stable international oil market and a reassuring level of international energy security.

This policy has earned the UAE numerous successes far beyond conventional energy. It has succeeded in areas such as renewable energy which has developed rapidly in recent decades, making the UAE one of the top countries investing in diversifying energy sources away from oil and other sources of energy that are not environment-friendly. This is consistent with the present needs of international energy security and stability. It was in this context that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – during his recent visit to Abu Dhabi – highlighted the UAE’s role in maintaining global energy security and referred to the level of cooperation that exists between Japan and the UAE in conventional and unconventional energy, citing the former’s expertise and capabilities in this domain.

The statement, coming from the top leadership of Japan, which is among the world’s leading energy importer, reflects the significance of the UAE’s role on the world energy map and the country’s energy policy which has become a cornerstone of stable international energy markets. This is particularly significant given the performance of international economy which, since the global financial crisis, has become extremely sensitive to changes in oil prices. Oil prices hit the roof in 2008 and worsened the economic crisis whose effects continue to create uncertainty and instability. The oil policy of the UAE, a leading member of OPEC, has been crucial in controlling oil prices in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, thereby helping international economy regain stability.