By: H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO
This year’s edition of ADIPEC comes at a time when the oil and gas industry is addressing three major trends shaping its future.
First, the historic shift of energy use, North to South and West to East. Second, the rapid acceleration of technological innovation and digitalisation that will transform the industry and finally, the urgent need for the oil and gas industry to evolve and capitalise on the opportunities that will be created by the fourth industrial revolution. How the oil and gas industry responds to these shifts will be the central topic explored over the next four days as government ministers, policy makers and businessmen seek the solutions that will drive transformational growth and innovation across the oil and gas value chain.
In the year since the oil and gas industry last convened in Abu Dhabi, our industry has continued to undergo change as we respond to the evolving energy market. This change has not only impacted oil and gas producers but also businesses and economies associated with our industry. This has contributed to the debate around the future role of hydrocarbons in the energy mix. At ADNOC we are in no doubt oil and gas will remain an essential part of the energy mix for decades to come.
Why are we so confident? We know that by 2040, oil consumption will rise by at least an additional 10 million barrels per day; demand for natural gas will an see even greater growth of around 40 per cent, and the demand for higher value petrochemicals and polymers will grow by at least 60 per cent. What this tells us is that the age of oil is far from over. As economies continue to grow, populations increase and disposable incomes rise, the demand for our products, across the entire value chain, will expand too.
But, while hydrocarbons will remain essential for fuelling the global economy for decades to come, the fundamentals of the energy landscape have shifted, and brought to an end the era of business as usual. If our industry is to navigate the shifting global energy landscape we must think differently, change our business models and leverage advances in technology in order to grasp the opportunities to unlock value and boost productivity, across all our operations.
At ADNOC, we are embracing the new realities by keeping an unwavering focus on performance, efficiency and maximising the value of every barrel we produce. We continue to drive down our production costs, increase operational margins and enhance our financial structure to ensure a smarter use of capital and assets. A key enabler of this is the deployment of advanced technologies and applications, such as machine learning, neural networks, and predictive data, to increase productivity and unlock new solutions that will shape and define the future of our oil and gas value chain.
Last week, Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council endorsed our progress by approving an increase in our oil production capacity and directing us to access previously undeveloped gas reserves that will enable the UAE to become self-sufficient in gas and transition to becoming a net exporter of natural gas. All this and more is being made possible by embedding fresh thinking, innovation, advanced technology and a relentless focus on performance, into every aspect of our business, from our drilling operations to our trading business. These are the same KPIs the wider oil and gas industry must embrace if it is to embrace the opportunities afforded by the fourth industrial revolution.
Exactly, how our industry should and can respond to the fourth industrial revolution, will be debated over the next four days as government ministers, policy makers and businessmen seek the solutions that will drive future growth across the oil and gas value chain. This year, ADIPEC has a greater ministerial and CEO level presence and an expanded conference programme, making it much more than just an energy trade show – it is now a thought leadership event that will address the key issues and most promising opportunities that lie ahead for our industry. As such it will set the agenda for the global energy conversation and put Abu Dhabi and the UAE firmly at its centre.