UAE Says It Is Committed to International Oil Needs

  • 18 November 2014

The UAE energy minister said that the country is committed to meet the international needs in supplying crude oil and will not fall short in doing their job.

“We will do what is required from us as a member of Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Countries) and will not politicise the matter. Our vision is clear,” said Suhail bin Mohammed al Mazrouei while addressing an annual energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

On the drop in oil prices, he said it is not happening for the first time and they are aiming for investments to continue. “Some small companies should be aware of the market and demand and supply situation. Last few years had seen good incentives for investment.”

Mazrouei said shale gas is not a competitor to conventional energy resources. “Emergence of shale gas and oil compliments conventional oil. The harmony will remain in future.”

Analysts have said shale gas boom in the US and weak demand in the market have contributed towards drop in oil prices.

Opec member countries are due to meet at the end of the month to take stock of the situation. It is not clear whether Opec will agree to a cut in production to stabilise the oil market though there have been calls from member countries.

Venezuela has called for an emergency meeting last month and Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had been touring Gulf countries in order to garner support to shore up prices.

He was in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to hold discussions with the officials. Iranian Embassy refused to give details about his meeting. The country is negotiating with six western countries for the lifting of sanctions over the nuclear issue. It is facing a budget deficit as prices continue to fall.

Mazrouei said the UAE has a clear strategy in diversification in the field of energy. “We invested a lot in renewable energy based on clear vision and strategy. It is environment friendly. We are also emphasising on nuclear and solar energy.”

Natural gas, he cautioned, cannot be the only source for the production of electricity and added the UAE has built nuclear power plants to produce electricity and by 2020 nuclear energy will contribute 25 per cent towards the production of electricity.

Taking part in a discussion on conventional oil, gas and coal resources, Abbas Al Naqi, secretary general of Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec) said shale gas is an important development in the US. “It has brought resurgence in the US energy industry bringing local gas prices to historical levels but questions remain on its sustainability. Environment concerns remain on hydraulic fracturing.”

He said despite the new developments in the energy sector, oil and gas continues to be a dominant source of energy for decades to come.

Naqi added that drop in prices is a temporary phenomenon and will not continue longer. “Prices will jump soon. It is happening due to shrinking of economies in China and Europe. There is more supply and less demand.”

The two day conference will end on Wednesday with a special address from the former president of Spain Jose Maria Aznar. There will also be panel discussions on Ukraine crisis, Iran energy situation and Asia’s changing energy dynamics.