Adnoc‘s chief executive has said that the push to develop renewable energy assets for Abu Dhabi will be left to other firms, including Masdar, as it focuses on its core oil and gas operations.
In exclusive insights provided to The National – his first since being appointed to lead Adnoc in February – Sultan Al Jaber said that while all sources of energy would be required to meet the growing global demand, the producer would continue to target its core strategy focusing on hydrocarbons.
“Our business is upstream, midstream and downstream of oil and gas. This focus will remain intact,” said Mr Al Jaber.
“There are already various entities and organisations within the UAE who are making significant strides both domestically and internationally in advancing the development and deployment of renewable energy,” he said.
Mr Al Jaber highlighted the renewables firm Masdar – of which he is the chairman – as a good example. With more than US$1.7 billion invested in renewable energy developments, Masdar‘s clean energy division has delivered nearly 1,000 megawatts of projects since 2008, such as the 100MW Shams solar plant in the UAE and offshore wind farms in the UK, according to its website.
The Adnoc head has been a global driving force behind renewables, which has helped to catapult the UAE on to the international stage, including taking a leading role at December’s climate talks in Paris.
With his appointment to Adnoc, questions naturally arose within the industry as to the possible future development of renewable energy projects by the oil company.
While Mr Al Jaber’s comments make it clear that Adnoc’s focus will remain on hydrocarbons, one analyst has said that the opportunity for collaborations with clean energy firms such as Masdar was still a possibility.
Mohammed Atif, the Middle East and Africa regional manager at the advisory firm DNV GL, said that there remain areas for Adnoc to tap renewables without creating a new division. He pointed to Petroleum Development Oman using solar energy to help in its enhanced oil recovery process, an injection method to maximise oil extraction.
“Adnoc could potentially use the technology to further their own business interest,” said Mr Atif. “I could see technology transfers, at least research and development techniques [from Masdar] that could be harnessed – it’s a no-brainer.”
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