Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), participated this week in the second annual Future Investment Initiative Conference, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where global leaders, from public and private sectors, convened to help shape the future of global investment and economic growth.
During the opening day of the conference, Dr. Al Jaber participated in a panel discussion – titled In Conversation: Energy & Investment – where he was joined by Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources for Saudi Arabia, and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total, to discuss the short-, medium- and long-term outlook for the oil and gas industry, as well as how energy companies are transforming in order to meet the demands of the new economy.
Speaking on the panel, Dr. Al Jaber said: “The global oil industry is about to break the historic milestone of consuming more than 100 million barrels of oil per day. And by 2040, we forecast that global consumption will climb by another 10 million per day, demonstrating that demand for hydrocarbons continues to gain strength amidst major market expansions and a rising global GDP.”
As demand for petrochemicals rises by an approximate 60% over the next two decades, Dr. Al Jaber said, we expect the petrochemicals sector to become the single-largest driver of oil demand growth by 2050.
“The era of oil and gas is far from over,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “In fact, market trends point to robust growth in all segments. Not only is petrochemical growth quickly becoming the biggest driver of oil demand, but we expect the market for natural gas to grow 40% by 2040. This expanding global energy map holds ample opportunity for energy companies that are willing to adapt and transform.
“At ADNOC, we are seizing opportunities for smart growth. Over the past two years, the company has reduced its operating expenditure significantly. We are deploying our capital more efficiently, and leveraging the capital and debt markets – where and when it makes sense. At the same time, we constantly seek innovative, commercial, financially savvy strategic investors and value-add partnerships to enable our ambitious smart growth plans – partners that bring technology, know-how and market access.”
Dr Al Jaber also commented on the UAE’s strategy to create a knowledge-based economy.
“Economic diversification is the name of the game. It has always been a core priority for the UAE, dating back to Sheikh Zayed. As a result, the UAE has taken great strides in ensuring a more balanced and resilient economy. Looking ahead, in line with the UAE’s 2071 Centennial Plan, the UAE is focused on ensuring the next generation has the knowledge, tools and skills to compete in the 21st century economy. ADNOC will continue in its role to facilitate and accelerate this diversification into knowledge-based sectors.”
Dr. Al Jaber added, “Saudi Arabia, as the largest oil producer in the world, is taking steps that will ensure its long-term sustainable economic development and prosperity. It is ambitious, bold and achievable. Most importantly, Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation will have far-reaching benefits not only for the Kingdom, but for our region and for the entire world.”
Over the course of the Future Investment Initiative Conference, more than 3,000 global leaders discussed long-term investment and global trends across a broad range of topics at the three-day invitation-only event.