Suhail al-Mazrouei
UAE minister Suhail Al Mazrouei speaks during a panel discussion at ADIPEC. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: The UAE will be more aggressive and mindful of the energy transition, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the UAE, said on Monday.

During a panel discussion at ADIPEC ‘23, Al Mazrouei emphasized the UAE’s commitment to energy transition and investments. He addressed the misconception that the UAE was solely an oil and gas producer, highlighting the nation’s efforts to diversify its energy portfolio.

“We will move even more aggressively, but that doesn’t mean that we will be more irresponsible to our consumers and the world. We are transitioning, and we need that oil to be there. Otherwise, the consumers will be the losers in this game.” He stressed the importance of reliable energy sources during the transition, stating that the 5 million barrels per day production target was initially planned for 2030 but was brought forward to 2027 due to the decline in global investments.

He further outlined the UAE’s strategies for a sustainable future, including tripling investments in renewable energy and focusing on hydrogen production, envisioning the UAE becoming a hydrogen exporter. “Even though we’re using oil and gas, we believe in hydrogen. UAE will be an exporter of hydrogen, and we will be producing 1.4 million tonnes of hydrogen annually by end of 2031.”

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Mubadala Energy pavilion at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference. Image Credit: Afra Mubarak Al Nofeli/Gulf News

Importance of investment in the sector

Speaking at the same panel, OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais highlighted the vital role of investment in the oil and gas industry, especially in oil production, refining and petrochemicals. He cautioned against calls to stop investing in oil, emphasizing that it was crucial for global economic prosperity and energy security.

“The cornerstone of global economic prosperity today is energy security.” He stressed the need for continued investments in the entire oil value chain, not just production. He cited a substantial investment requirement of nearly $14 trillion from now until 2045 for the oil industry alone, demonstrating the scale of the industry’s significance.

He also addressed the current surge in global oil demand and expressed optimism about future demand growth, particularly in non-OECD Asian regions.

Challenges and solutions

Responding to concerns about the energy sector’s challenges, Al Mazrouei highlighted the need for increased investments. He warned against ignoring the reality of diminishing resources and stressed the importance of maintaining a balanced approach amid the global transition to cleaner energy sources.

“We need to keep the politics aside. We work as a technical group,” he said.