23 Nisan 2013 Salı

UAE to up oil output capacity

Arab News

The UAE is seeking to increase its production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day of crude oil to contribute to the stability of global markets, UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said.

OPEC member UAE currently pumps about 2.6 million barrels per day. The country is the fifth largest oil producing country in the team, behind Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Iran.

Al-Mazrouei said the rise would contribute to maintaining stability of global oil markets, but he did not disclose when they are going to increase the production.

"The recent events have proven that focusing on the security of energy is necessary in order to address natural disasters and geopolitical tensions as well as other unanticipated situations, which occur periodically in the world. That’s why the UAE undertook to construct an oil pipeline connecting Habshan-Fujairah to guarantee crude oil supplied to world market," he pointed out.

He was speaking at the opening session of the 21st Annual Middle East Petroleum and Gas conference, which began yesterday in Abu Dhabi.

Exports via Habshan-Fujairah route would allow the Gulf state to bypass the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has repeatedly threatened to close.

The minister added that some scenario stipulates that the global oil demand may increase by one million barrels a day until it reaches 105 million barrels a day by 2030, amid economic expansion in Asia and South America.
He also mentioned that the UAE is planning to get up to 25 percent of its power from nuclear energy by 2021 as it looks to reduce its domestic reliance on fossil fuels and ensure it has enough oil to export as its economy expands.

"Nuclear energy is expected to account for 25 percent of power production within the UAE through the operation of four nuclear power plants, which will generate 5.6 gigawatts of electricity. The UAE has already embarked on generating electricity through its solar power plant Shamis One with a production capacity of 100 MW. Shamis One is considered the largest of its kind in the region" he added.

In the conference, Al-Mazrouei highlighted the increase in oil prices as well as rise in demand for energy in relation to the natural and geopolitical changes the area is witnessing. He also stressed the importance of utilizing the available technology and the nuclear sector to provide the necessary energy, calling the present time "the best time to invest."

The increase in demand was also raised during the conference when the Chairman Fereidun Fesharaki, also chairman of FACTS global Energy, listed a number of foreseeable trends through his "crystal ball" presentation.

One of the expectations was the increase in the Chinese production and decrease in the American production, he said, adding that the United States will expect a surplus in crude in the Gulf coast.

While in the light of the current changes, the Middle East is most likely to raise its crude exports to the United States, he noted that heavy grades come from the main players — the Middle East, Venezuela, Mexico and Canada. With Venezuela mostly increasing its sales to China and India, Mexico is facing a decline in production and Canada facing environmental and political controversies, leaving the Middle East as the most likely source of importation for the United States.

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