UAE’s ADNOC is in discussions with senior Chinese officials and executives from China to explore partnerships and co-investment opportunities in technology, energy and chemical sectors.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, has held a series of meetings with government and corporate leaders in Beijing, focused on strengthening the strategic relationship between the UAE and China.
China is the UAE’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade growing 800 fold in the three decades since formal relations were established to top US$50 billion per annum.
“ADNOC’s focus on the application of advanced technology, in support of its 2030 growth strategy, is one area where China’s experience in developing artificial intelligence and predictive data, through companies such as Huawei, could be deployed to create additional value from its resources. ADNOC is keen to advance and lead the digitisation of the oil and gas industry,” Dr Al Jaber said.
As part of its transformation objectives, ADNOC is exploring how advanced technologies and applications, such as machine learning, neural networks, predictive data and artificial intelligence, could help enhance efficiency, productivity and profitability across the oil and gas value chain. ADNOC launched its two digital command centres Panorama and Thamama in 2017, where data from its subsurface and surface operations is captured, analysed and incorporated to decision making.
Dr Al Jaber also met with Wang Yilin, Chairman of China National Petroleum Company; Frank Ning, Chairman of Sinochem; Zengtai Liao, President of Wanhua Chemical Group and Tu Guangshao, Vice Chairman and President, China Investment Corporation.
“China represents a key strategic partner for the UAE and the growing ties between Chinese companies and ADNOC is a testament to the depth and importance of the relationship,” said Dr Al Jaber. “We are keen to explore how ADNOC can continue to serve the growing demand for energy, and, in particular, for chemical and petrochemical products in China, as a key growth market.”
In the past year, China and the UAE have made a number of co-investments in the energy sector. In February 2017, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China CEFC Energy were awarded minority stakes in the UAE's onshore oil reserves. And, in November of 2017, ADNOC and CNPC signed a framework agreement covering various areas of potential collaboration, including offshore opportunities and sour gas development projects.
Meanwhile, ADNOC is focused on market expansion in China and Asia, where demand for petrochemicals and plastics, including light-weight automotive components, essential utility piping and cable insulation, is forecast to double by 2040.
China is the largest export customer in Asia, for Borouge, a petrochemicals joint venture between ADNOC and Borealis, accounting for 1.2 million tons per year of polyolefins, equal to one third of its sales worldwide.