Dr Sultan ... calling to action

Dr Sultan calls on the energy industry to take the opportunity to show the world it is central to the solution and to assure energy security while urgently phasing out emissions

Adipec 2023 was a voice in unison for the energy industry, which reiterated its commitment to decarbonise and to fast-track the energy transition, while continuing to meet global energy needs.

This year’s event saw a record-breaking 184,000 people attend, making it the largest edition of Adipec ever.

More than 2,200 companies, 30 country pavilions and over 350 curated sessions, including more than 1,600 ministers and executives sharing knowledge and strategies, and products and services to future-proof energy systems during 350 curated strategic conference sessions.

In the opening address, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc Managing Director and Group CEO and COP28 President-Designate, told industry leaders to use the event "to show the world that, in fact, you are central to the solution" of fast-tracking the energy transition, assuring energy security while urgently phasing out emissions.

Echoing Dr Sultan’s call to action, Tayba Al Hashemi, Chair of Adipec 2023 and CEO of Adnoc Offshore, said: "Decarbonising, faster, together, is not just the theme of Adipec 2023, it is a rallying call to industry to work together to transform, decarbonise and future-proof our industry. We want to accelerate the innovation and tangible actions needed to enable a lower-carbon and higher-growth future for the world."

The Adipec Opening Ceremony also included pledges from leading global CEOs across the energy industry, reaffirming their commitment to concrete actions that will enable decarbonisation and the energy transition.

With 10 CEOs featured from across the world, the video showed the industry’s unified approach to driving investment and partnerships to accelerate the global energy transition and stimulate innovation.

Commenting on this commitment, Amin Nasser, President and CEO of Aramco said: "At Aramco, we believe that energy security and sustainability can co-exist. We remain committed to helping supply the world's growing energy needs as we also expand our efforts to develop lower-carbon solutions that will provide future generations with cleaner and more sustainable energy."

As the last major energy industry milestone before COP28 takes place in the UAE next month, Adipec focused on the priorities, including achieving near-zero methane emissions by 2030 and scaling deployment of climate technology, to tackle the core challenges of building the energy system of tomorrow.

Reflecting the industry’s priorities, decarbonisation defined the Adipec 2023 agenda, which included critical conversations on achieving net-zero in heavy industries, such as aviation and cement production and how to develop circular economies.

In his speech, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: "International collaboration is crucial to addressing energy challenges. Adipec serves as an ideal platform to take the collective decarbonisation drive to the next level, and we are happy to share our experience with other countries. Having one of the fastest-growing clean energy industries in the world, the UAE is set to generate a total capacity of 19.8 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030. In addition, the UAE seeks to become a leading producer and supplier of low-carbon hydrogen, working towards producing 1.4 million metric tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen per annum by 2031 and 15 million metric tonnes per annum by 2050."

The Adipec opening ceremony included a ministerial panel on the subject of ‘Fast Tracking the Energy Transition’, which brought together Al Mazroui, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of Opec, Dr Alparslan Bayraktar, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Türkiye, and Sebastian-Ioan Burduja, Minister of Energy, Romania, to discuss how to accelerate the energy transition.

The panel explored how innovative policies and inclusive practices are the key to meeting increasing energy demands and achieving net zero emissions. The panel also agreed on the important role that governments must play in driving both collaboration and investment. Ministers remarked on the importance of facilitating a just low-carbon future, simultaneously reducing emissions and driving economic growth.

Addressing the need for pragmatism, Al Mazrouei, said: "We need to keep the politics aside, and as OPEC, work as a technical group".

Echoing his remarks, Al Ghais said: "We have to have a clear roadmap of where we’re going, and how to get there".

Summarising the uniqueness of the challenges facing specific industries in their journey towards decarbonisation, Pavan Chilukuri, Vice-President of CCUS Strategy at Holcim, said: "Without decarbonising buildings, we will not reach-zero. As the global population grows, the demand for construction will continue to increase. We are building a 'New York city' worth of buildings every month, and we are going to do so every year until 2040. The challenge is: how do we this with less carbon intensity?"

Meanwhile, during a session on asset portfolio models, Olivier Le Peuch CEO of SLB, said: "This industry, in the lead up to COP28, has recognised that its license to operate will be based on its ability to innovate: innovate for performance, innovate for decarbonisation. Higher value, lower carbon for the future of oil and gas. The industry has recognised this, now it needs to act."

The 2023 edition of Adipec reinforced the event’s status as the premier platform for the energy industry to come together and do business.

Among a wide range of deals agreed during the event, Baker Hughes announced a milestone electric-LNG award for Adnoc Ruwais LNG export terminal; Petrofac won a $600-million contract with Adnoc; The Department of Economic Development announced Abu Dhabi will provide 100 investment opportunities with a combined market size of Dh123.3 billion ($33.5 billion) by 2027; and OXY subsidiary 1PointFive and Adnoc signed an agreement to commence a jointly funded preliminary engineering study for a 1 million tonne-per-year direct air capture (DAC) facility in the UAE.

Next year’s Adipec has been scheduled to be held from November 11-14.

By Abdulaziz Khattak