ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — A webinar dialogue session was recently hosted by the UAE-Canada Business Council to discuss the ‘Energy issues in the post-COVID-19 world’ in the presence of Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, and Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, Canada.
The Canada-UAE Business Council has helped in facilitating long-term relationships and strategic initiatives among industry stakeholders.
Addressing the meeting, Al Mazrouei said, “The UAE has a plan to diversify our energy sources to more greener forms of energy, up to 50% by the year 2050. What happened showed that at difficult times we can work together and manage this storm. I think all countries post-COVID are revisiting their plans, looking at how we will benefit from the learnings of this pandemic that flipped the whole economy upside down, and made us worried about things that we did not worry about before – such as food security and healthcare security.”
“Adaptability is something we’ll learn, and I think we will capitalize on that in the future,” he added.
On OPEC’s DoC decisions: the minister said, “We were walking in a new land where we didn’t know what could be enough (in terms of production adjustments).To get OPEC+ to so quickly agree to such a big adjustment never happened in the world.
“Nobody could predict that the market could so quickly rebound to where we are today. Some thought (OPEC+ adjustments) were not enough. We were confident if we saw it through it would calm the chaos. Our worry was not the price, but saving the whole industry, saving millions of jobs and investment. If we didn’t do it, we would have another shock down the road.”
For his part, Barkindo expressed his appreciation to Canada for its support in encouraging the energy dialogue, notably the recently held bilateral meeting with HE Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy for Alberta, to discuss oil developments against the backdrop of recent OPEC and non-OPEC meetings.
The Secretary General underscored the vital role of dialogue and cooperation in achieving sustainable stability in the oil market. He cited the impact and positive outcome of the OPEC and non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation on the oil market as a stabilising mechanism for the global energy industry.
“In these dire times of chaos and disaster, OPEC has managed to offer something that is a rare commodity today hope”, said OPEC Secretary General.
Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, said that being landlocked made Alberta’s oil industry particularly vulnerable when COVID-19 hit. “Thanks to OPEC for reaching out to us. We were able to open lines of communication, also with our neighbours to the south.”
Kenney said Alberta has a greater capacity to act because it produces 85% of Canada’s oil and has a mechanism already in place to curtail production, which has already been used since 2019 to shut-in 400,000 b/d due to transportation restrictions.
Kenney said particularly European investors are misinformed about Canada’s production. He said great technological progress has been made in reducing the carbon intensity of the industry, so that it has a lower footprint than other world producers of heavy crude.