The United Arab Emirates, OPEC’s fourth-largest crude producer, is investing in nuclear power, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas terminals to reduce its reliance on oil, according to its energy minister.
“We are making our energy-supply portfolio more robust,” Suhail Mohammad al-Mazrouei said in Daegu, South Korea, Monday.
“We are committed to being a reliable supplier of hydrocarbons to the world,” he said, adding that the nation was operating a cross-country crude pipeline to facilitate exports.
Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the UAE’s crude reserves, plans to raise output capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day in 2017 to meet export demand and feed an expanded local refinery.
The emirate supplies parts of the country with gas imported from Qatar and from its fields and provides electric power to other emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the second-biggest emirate, are also investing in renewable energy.
“Traditional sources of energy on their own are not enough,” Mazrouei said at the World Energy Congress. “The UAE is actively diversifying its energy mix.”
The UAE plans to generate 25 percent of its power from nuclear plants by 2020 and to have 2,500 megawatts of generation capacity from renewable sources, according to the minister.
Four nuclear plants will produce 5,400 megawatts of power when completed by 2020, Matar Hamad al-Neyadi, an Energy Ministry undersecretary, said at the conference Monday. Renewable energy will account for about 7 percent of the nation’s generation, he said, indicating that the UAE would have a capacity of more than 35,000 megawatts by 2030.
Abu Dhabi last year started a crude pipeline to Fujairah, a port outside the Strait of Hormuz, a choke point for oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. Two Abu Dhabi state-owned investment vehicles plan to build an LNG import terminal in the emirate to bring in more of the fuel for power generation.
The UAE, which has boosted its oil-production capacity to about 3 million bpd, will proceed with plans to raise its total output capability to 3.5 million bpd amid increased supply from U.S. shale resources and from Middle East producers including Iraq. Rising global demand means extra production will be utilized, Mazrouei said.
Domestic power demand is growing at about 6 percent a year, Neyadi said.
The UAE pumped 2.9 million barrels a day of crude last month, according to a Bloomberg survey. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait ranking as the top three producers in September.