Suhail Mohammad Al Mazroui (second from left), with Rick Perry (centre) and Khalid Al Falih, Saudi minister of energy, industry and mineral resources during the CSLF on Wednesday. Image Credit: Ahmed Kuty/Gulf News

The US and the UAE reaffirmed their shared commitment to a strong bilateral relationship during the US-UAE Strategic Energy Dialogue held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and UAE Minister of Energy Al Mazroui co-chaired the meeting to move forward joint cooperative efforts for expanded cooperation related to development and trade in conventional and unconventional oil, gas and coal, liquefied natural gas and civil nuclear energy among other things.

The two ministers noted that the growing US LNG exports could provide an option for an additional source of gas supply to the region.

Currently, Abu Dhabi is tapping sour gas through the Shah Gas project in the Western region of Abu Dhabi and is also importing from its neighbouring countries through Dolphin gas project.

Abu Dhabi’s Shah gas project reached its full production capacity of one billion cubic feet per day and there are plans to increase the it further.

“The US LNG export has the potential to come to the region but it all depends on the price and terms of the contract. Our doors always open and it is an open market,” said Al Mazroui.

“In future there will be a huge requirement for LNG and definitely the more growing exports from the US will find opportunity in the Middle East as well as in the UAE.”

No time frame

Addressing a press conference later in the day, US energy secretary Perry said they are talking to countries in the region to supply LNG but did not give a time frame when it would be done.

“As quick as contracts get signed and ships get filled,” he said when asked when they would be shipping gas to the region including Saudi Arabia.

“We want to be reliable, we want to be expeditious. The idea that US could be a net exporter of gas was a fairy tale a decade ago but now it is a reality. We not only want to be a supplier of natural resources but also a reliable partner.”

Perry also said he met Adnoc chief Dr Sultan Al Jaber and discussed opportunities for each other’s companies.

“There are some projects in the US they [UAE] may have some interest. Some companies from the United States have interest in the upstream side of the industry here. This was a two-way communication.”

Factbox: Sabic looking at investment opportunities in the US

Sabic (Saudi Basic Industries corporation) is looking at multiple investment opportunities in the US taking advantage of the plentiful gas supply, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih said in Abu Dhabi without providing further details.

He also said Saudi Aramco is one of the biggest investors in the downstream side of the US including Port Arthur refinery, one of the most sophisticated refinery which is key to the US fuel manufacturing. Aramco will also be looking closer to home in Africa or Mediterranean for investments.