‘Maintaining investment in oil and gas critical for economic progress’ - GulfToday

‘Maintaining investment in oil and gas critical for economic progress’

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.  WAM

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London. WAM

Energy security is essential for social, economic and climate progress and the responsibility of the energy industry in maintaining energy security has never been clearer, according to Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Dr. Al Jaber said: “Market sentiment does not reflect the real underlying fundamentals, tight spare capacity and long-term demand growth. Therefore, policies aimed at pulling the plug on the current energy system, before we have built the new one are misguided.”

He added for economic progress to be maintained, substantial investment is required in hydrocarbons, the energy source the world will rely on well into the future.

“We have seen that all progress starts and ends with energy security. And, as the world’s energy leaders, our responsibility in maintaining that energy security has never been more evident,” Dr Al Jaber said. “Yes, we must all commit to mitigating the impact of global energy supplies, but let’s keep our focus on capturing carbon, not cancelling production. Let’s hold back emissions, not progress.”

He explained that partnership with the energy sector is critical to a successful energy transition. He noted that the energy transition represents the most complex, capital-intensive project in human history and that no one has more experience delivering these kinds of projects than the energy industry.

“As COP27 approaches and the UAE prepares to host COP28, let’s advocate for an inclusive approach that takes advantage of the expertise of the people in the oil and gas industry. For the energy transition to succeed, the energy professionals need to be in the room, as equal partners alongside all other stakeholders,” Dr Al Jaber noted.

He added that the UAE is keen to work with partners to mitigate the impact of hydrocarbons on the climate and build on its expertise as a responsible and reliable regional leader in low and no-carbon energy.

Adnoc, he explained, is investing in greater production capacity of its signature crude, Murban, that has half the carbon intensity of the industry average and tripling its Liquiefied Natural Gas (LNG) capacity to over 15 million tonnes per annum, supported by a 9.6 million tonnes per annum LNG production and shipping terminal in the Emirate of Fujairah.

Adnoc is also using advanced technologies and renewable solar and nuclear energy to reduce the carbon intensity of its oil and gas by a further 25 per cent before the end of the decade, while putting in place the building blocks for the hydrogen value chain, as well as expanding the use of carbon capture and storage.

As last year’s recipient of the Energy Intelligence Energy Executive of the Year Award, Dr Al Jaber presented the 2022 award to Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of Qatar Energy.

In his remarks, Dr Al Jaber praised Al-Kaabi’s role in expanding and modernising Qatar’s natural gas sector. At the same time, he said that Al-Kaabi had been a leader when it comes to sustainable, responsible production, setting in motion the decarbonisation of Qatar’s LNG supply chain and promoting solar power.

Meanwhile Adnoc Distribution announced the approval of an interim dividend payment to shareholders for the first six months of 2022 of Dhs1.285 billion (10.285 fils per share), equivalent to $350 million.

This is the first payment of what is expected to be a full-year 2022 dividend payment of minimum Dhs2.57 billion (20.57 fils per share), in line with the company’s dividend policy, with the second and final dividend for 2022 expected to be paid in April 2023, subject to the Board of Directors’ recommendation and shareholders’ approval.

The 2022 full-year dividend would offer a 4.9 per cent annual dividend yield (based on a share price of Dhs4.21 as of 27th September 2022).

The company’s dividend policy for the years thereafter sets a dividend equal to at least 75 per cent of distributable profits. The policy recognises the company’s strong financial position and cash-flow generation ability going forward, which will support growth opportunities and sustain attractive and shareholder returns.

Since its IPO in 2017, the company has enhanced payback to its shareholders through its progressive dividend policy with a dividend track record of Dhs1.47 billion for 2018, Dhs2.39 billion for 2019, Dhs2.57 billion for 2020, and Dhs2.57 billion for 2021, supported by robust cash generation and balance sheet strength.

In recent years, the company has taken steps to cement its position as a leading, cost-competitive fuel and non-fuel retailer, by accelerating the delivery of its smart growth strategy while enhancing customer experience.

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