Middle East, News

UAE energy minister reaffirms technology commitment

he-eng-suhail-al-mazrouei-uae-minister-of-energyHE Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy for the United Arab Emirates, today stressed the importance of investing in new technology to ensure that the oil and gas industry continues to innovate amidst an oil price that has suffered in recent years.

Speaking at the Third GCC Petroleum Media Forum at the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Al Mazrouei highlighted how the UAE would need to continue to find new ways to remain competitive in the demanding industry.

“Our investment in technology is an ongoing process,” he told tahawultech.com. “We have companies in the petrochemicals space that have an R&D centre and are investing heavily in technology. Whether it’s in ADNOC or through the ADNOC innovation centre, or through Mubadala Investment Company.

“We are a major technology holder, and we are continuously investing in our own IP. All of those companies continue to invest in optimising and cutting cost.”

When asked if the GCC would face heavy job cuts in the face of an increasingly automated industry, Al Mazrouei was cagey. “It depends,” he said. “In the manufacturing industry, it’s easier to say, because of robotics. However, when you’re dealing with high-pressures and high temperatures as in oil and gas, I think the level of jobs will not be significantly affected. We are trying to expand in creating more of a value chain here in Abu Dhabi, and investing throughout the value chain of the hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries and more derivatives of the petrochemical chain. That’s what we’re trying to do. We think that is going to create more jobs.

“IT and cybersecurity are very important, and those areas are becoming a relatively new field. You used to only have an IT person, now you have cybersecurity and systems engineers that are taking on huge importance.”

Also speaking at the event, ADNOC CEO and UAE minister of state, HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber discussed the ways in which social media is having an increasingly pervasive influence in the way information is spread. “Information is moving faster than ever before; social media is the fastest way for information and misinformation to be spread,” he said. “It’s important that we acknowledge the power of social media in order to build trust.”

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