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Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable discusses sustainable global energy supplies

Jun 17, 2020
4 min read
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Global energy leaders united around the common purpose of ensuring sustainable global energy supplies as economies begin to reopen and the world adjusts to the next normal, during a special virtual edition of the Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable.

The CEOs shared lessons learned and best practices in ensuring the safety of employees, safeguarding business continuity, and building resilience as they continue responding to COVID-19. They also exchanged views on oil market dynamics and shared their outlook for the short- and medium-term. In addition, the chief executives explained how they are pivoting their strategies to deliver more energy with fewer emissions.

The exclusive, invitation-only event marked the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable and was hosted by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). ADNOC convened this special edition to provide a forum for energy leaders to address the urgent issues and opportunities facing the industry.

The high-level attendance underlines Abu Dhabi’s convening power and position at the center of the conversation shaping the future of the oil and gas industry.

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said: “This virtual edition of the Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable provided an important opportunity for leaders of the world’s oil, gas, and petrochemical industries to share best practices around critical issues, as we navigate the post-COVID-19 period in a fast-evolving energy landscape.

“As we respond to the challenges of COVID-19, each one of us has had to guide our respective organisations through difficult times. The Roundtable offered an excellent platform to share valuable lessons on how to ensure the safety of our people, the resilience of our business, and the long-term growth of our industry. In short, I believe that open dialogue like this can shorten the journey to sustainable economic recovery.

“Great insights were also shared on strategies for producing more energy with fewer emissions and the roundtable once again highlighted the value of convening the top industry executives on important issues facing our industry. I look forward to advancing the conversation on how our industry can remain competitive, at the next edition in November.”

Commenting on the market outlook, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, said: “I would say in Europe today we are more optimistic because we are getting out of the lockdown and honestly in our industry, the consumption of energy is going up quite quickly, quicker to normal than expected by all. We can see that in electricity, in power supply we were down 20 per cent. We are now back almost to normal market levels. In our fuels business, we are still not at standard levels, but demand is coming back quite quickly.”

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, said: “I do think the response has probably been a bit quicker than we expected. I think that’s a good thing. As ever, we don’t know what the future holds, we really don’t know. And while I’m optimistic about it, I’m only optimistic because we are very focused on the things we control – getting our business in shape and that’s what Patrick (Chairman and CEO of Total) has referred to with discipline. So, optimistic but we don’t know and therefore we’re focused on what we control.”

Dai Houliang, Chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), said: “I am confident about the global economic recovery and the outlook for the oil and gas industry. In order to promote the sound and rapid recovery of the industry, we need to actively respond to risks and challenges and beef up international cooperation.”

The roundtable was moderated by the leading energy economist and Pulitzer-Prize winning author Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit.