ADNOC’s new trading unit to play ‘critical role’ in expansion plans

ADNOC logos on display at GASTECH, in Chiba, Japan. ADNOC has set up a new unit for trading crude oil and refined products as part of its strategy to maximize returns on every barrel of oil produced and drive revenue from new business streams. (Reuters)
Updated 23 April 2018
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ADNOC’s new trading unit to play ‘critical role’ in expansion plans

  • ADNOC CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “As ADNOC grows and expands its upstream and downstream businesses, we will produce more products, and in turn, our marketing, sales and trading function will play an even more critical role.”
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“Engaging in non-speculative trading will allow us to maximize value from our domestic and, over time, international downstream operations.”

LONDON: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has set up a new unit for trading crude oil and refined products as part of its strategy to maximize returns on every barrel of oil produced and drive revenue from new business streams.

“As ADNOC grows and expands its upstream and downstream businesses, we will produce more products, and in turn, our marketing, sales and trading function will play an even more critical role,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC Group CEO.



“Engaging in non-speculative trading will allow us to maximize value from our domestic and, over time, international downstream operations,” added Al Jaber.

The news comes as ADNOC is pushing forward with its plans to expand its downstream business in anticipation of the growth in the global petrochemicals sector.

“Looking out over the next two decades, we anticipate the sharpest growth within the energy sector will be petrochemicals, with demand forecast to climb 150 percent by 2040,” Al Jaber said.

“To capitalize on this opportunity and make ADNOC more resilient against possible price volatility, our goal is to become a major global downstream player, creating a strong pull for our products, combined with the flexibility to respond quickly to shifting market needs,” he said in an official statement.

ADNOC announced last November it was planning to invest more than 400 billion dirhams ($109 billion) over the next five years to increase its domestic refining, gas and petrochemicals businesses as well as expand its international downstream operations.

The firm is expected to set out its plans for downstream growth at an investment forum being held in Abu Dhabi in May.

ADNOC’s 2030 strategy — approved in 2016 — aims to increase petrochemical production from 4.5 million tons per year in 2016 to 11.4 mtpa by 2025.


US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative

Updated 19 August 2018
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US says conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative

  • Fears of oil scarcity no longer driver of US energy policy
  • Surging shale production brings energy abundance

WASHINGTON: Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the US, the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs.
The position was outlined in a memo released last month in support of the administration’s proposal to relax fuel mileage standards. The government released the memo online this month without fanfare.
Growth of natural gas and other alternatives to petroleum has reduced the need for imported oil, which “in turn affects the need of the nation to conserve energy,” the Energy Department said. It also cites the now decade-old fracking revolution that has unlocked US shale oil reserves, giving “the United States more flexibility than in the past to use our oil resources with less concern.”
With the memo, the administration is formally challenging old justifications for conservation — even congressionally prescribed ones, as with the mileage standards. The memo made no mention of climate change. Transportation is the single largest source of climate-changing emissions.
President Donald Trump has questioned the existence of climate change, embraced the notion of “energy dominance” as a national goal, and called for easing what he calls burdensome regulation of oil, gas and coal, including repealing the Obama Clean Power Plan.
Despite the increased oil supplies, the administration continues to believe in the need to “use energy wisely,” the Energy Department said, without elaboration. Department spokesmen did not respond Friday to questions about that statement.
Reaction was quick.
“It’s like saying, ‘I’m a big old fat guy, and food prices have dropped — it’s time to start eating again,’” said Tom Kloza, longtime oil analyst with the Maryland-based Oil Price Information Service.
“If you look at it from the other end, if you do believe that fossil fuels do some sort of damage to the atmosphere ... you come up with a different viewpoint,” Kloza said. “There’s a downside to living large.”
Climate change is a “clear and present and increasing danger,” said Sean Donahue, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund.
In a big way, the Energy Department statement just acknowledges the world’s vastly changed reality when it comes to oil.
Just 10 years ago, in summer 2008, oil prices were peaking at $147 a barrel and pummeling the global economy. OPEC was enjoying a massive transfer of wealth, from countries dependent on imported oil. Prices now are about $65.
Today, the US is vying with Russia for the title of top world oil producer. US oil production hit an all-time high this summer, aided by the technological leaps of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
How much the US economy is hooked up to the gas pump, and vice versa, plays into any number of policy considerations, not just economic or environmental ones, but military and geopolitical ones, said John Graham, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, now dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.
“Our ability to play that role as a leader in the world is stronger when we are the strongest producer of oil and gas,” Graham said. “But there are still reasons to want to reduce the amount we consume.”
Current administration proposals include one that would freeze mileage standards for cars and light trucks after 2020, instead of continuing to make them tougher.
The proposal eventually would increase US oil consumption by 500,000 barrels a day, the administration says. While Trump officials say the freeze would improve highway safety, documents released this month showed senior Environmental Protection Agency staffers calculate the administration’s move would actually increase highway deaths.
“American businesses, consumers and our environment are all the losers under his plan,” said Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat. “The only clear winner is the oil industry. It’s not hard to see whose side President Trump is on.”
Administration support has been tepid to null on some other long-running government programs for alternatives to gas-powered cars.
Bill Wehrum, assistant administration of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, spoke dismissively of electric cars — a young industry supported financially by the federal government and many states — this month in a call with reporters announcing the mileage freeze proposal.
“People just don’t want to buy them,” the EPA official said.
Oil and gas interests are campaigning for changes in government conservation efforts on mileage standards, biofuels and electric cars.
In June, for instance, the American Petroleum Institute and other industries wrote eight governors, promoting the dominance of the internal-combustion engine and questioning their states’ incentives to consumers for electric cars.
Surging US and gas production has brought on “energy security and abundance,” Frank Macchiarola, a group director of the American Petroleum Institute trade association, told reporters this week, in a telephone call dedicated to urging scrapping or overhauling of one US program for biofuels.
Fears of oil scarcity used to be a driver of US energy policy, Macchiarola said.
Thanks partly to increased production, “that pillar has really been rendered essentially moot,” he said.