ADIPEC 2020: Tuesday conference highlights

By Anthony Di Paola and Nadine Daher on 11/10/2020

The 2020 ADIPEC conference, traditionally held in Abu Dhabi, is being conducted virtually this year. Following are highlights from Tuesday’s proceedings, updated throughout the day (times listed below are Abu Dhabi local.)

Iraq Still Committed to Oil and Gas Projects, Oil Minister Says (6:48 p.m.)

Iraq remains committed to progressing oil and gas projects with its international partners but it also wants to develop more solar power and renewable energy, the country’s oil minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said. However, Raad Alkadiri, senior director at BCG Center for Energy Impact, added that Iraq is going to struggle to find the necessary investment -- and to form a stable environment for investors -- to develop these projects. Alkadiri said that OPEC, of which Iraq is a key member, should “stay the course” and extend its oil production cuts deal.

Biden’s Energy Policy ‘Will Be Workable for Us,’ Oxy CEO Says (6:11 p.m.)

“I’m not as worried as some people are” about U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s prospective energy policy, Occidental Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said. Energy companies will need to work with Biden’s administration on solutions to challenges of climate change. His staff understand carbon capture, she said. Biden’s energy policy “will be workable for us.”

Jordan Expects to Double Natural Gas Output: Energy Minister (4:11 p.m.)

Jordan expects to double natural gas production within a year, Energy Minister Hala Zawati said, without specifying volumes. The country is also working to improve international electricity links, mainly with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories, she said.

IEA’s Faith Birol Says, Don’t Call Peak Oil Demand Yet (2:40 p.m.)

Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said it was misleading for anyone to claim that oil demand had already peaked. If economies recover from the pandemic quickly, consumption of crude could rise above pre-Covid levels, he said. In a separate interview with Bloomberg TV, he said President-elect Joe Biden will strongly push renewable energy in the U.S. -- especially solar and wind. Solar is now the cheapest source of power in most of the world, according to Birol.

Vitol Sees ‘Difficult’ Months Ahead, Then Oil at as Much as $50: CEO (12:37 p.m.)

Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, sees a “difficult few months ahead” for crude demand, but it expects prices to recover around the middle of next year to between the high $40s and $50 per barrel, Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy said. Drawdowns of global oil inventories will quicken into the second quarter, assuming that OPEC+ delays its plan to ease output cuts in January. The Biden presidency will be bullish for oil, due to higher costs of capital and more regulation of fracking in the U.S. The potential return of Iranian crude to the market is an issue for the second half of 2021, he said.

Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc Sees $5 Billion of Investments from Chemicals Venture (11:20 a.m.)

Abu Dhabi’s state energy firm Adnoc and ADQ, one of the emirate’s investment vehicles, announced a joint venture to grow the chemicals industry in the United Arab Emirates. They will instigate projects in the planned Ruwais Derivatives Park that will potentially lead to more than $5 billion of investments, the firms said in a statement.

Egypt Seeks Almost to Double Cars Running on Natural Gas by 2023 (11 a.m.)

Egypt plans to increase the number of cars running on compressed natural gas by 260,000 in the next three years, Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla said. There are currently 330,000 vehicles in the North African country that use CNG, he said. The government’s previously said the push will not only reduce carbon emissions, but Egyptians’ fuel bills too.

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