Abu Dhabi: After a challenging 2019, the global economy is in better shape for 2020 with energy demand remaining robust according to Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Adnoc group chief executive.

Al Jaber was speaking at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum held in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as hundreds of delegates including government officials and industry leaders convened together to set out this year’s energy agenda and outlook.

“The global economy going into 2020 appears to be in better shape than last year, with trade tensions [between the US and China] easing, manufacturing showing signs of renewed growth and global consumer spending strengthening,” Al Jaber said.

“This economic outlook means both the short and long term demand for energy remains very robust. Over the next two decades we will see growth of at least 25-30 per cent in energy demand,” he added.

“This is a rate of increase that no single source can satisfy and presents the key challenge of how to produce more energy with fewer emissions,” he said.

Al Jaber said that meeting this demand for energy was a high priority for the UAE, with the country diversifying its energy mix to include both solar and nuclear power.

“In the last 10 years we have grown our solar capacity by 400 per cent and invested in renewable energy projects approaching 12 gigawatts here in the UAE and across 25 countries around the world.

“We are [also] adding clean nuclear power to our domestic portfolio working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency. This year, the UAE will be the first country in the region to operate a safe commercial and peaceful nuclear power station,” he added.

Al Jaber said that hydrocarbons would also continue to form a key pillar of the UAE’s energy strategy, with Adnoc on track to upping its production to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020.

“We will continue to responsibly grow our hydrocarbon resources to ensure reliable flows of energy to global markets.

“At Adnoc, we are well on track to increase crude oil production capacity to 4 million bpd by the end of the year,” he added.

Al Jaber also spoke on the upcoming launch of ICE Futures Abu Dhabi, which will for the first time see Adnoc’s Murban crude being sold on a futures exchange market.

“We are also helping shape more transparent market conditions, this is in fact the motivation behind ICE Futures Abu Dhabi, which we launched only two months ago in partnership with Intercontinental Exchange, global traders and many major producers.

“The new exchange will trade Murban — Abu Dhabi’s signature of crude that is already well established as the crude of choice throughout refineries in Asia,” he added.

“Crucially, the new futures market will replace retro active pricing with forward pricing allowing buyers to hedger their risk; this will benefit our customers, drive additional value and create an oil market that is more efficient and less volatile,” Al Jaber said.