Nuclear, Renewable, Oil & Gas
The United Arab Emirates has the world’s sixth largest proven oil reserves and the fifth largest natural gas reserves, making the country a critical partner and responsible supplier in global energy markets. While a mainstay to the economy, oil exports actually account for only about one-third of economic activity, as a result of aggressive government policies designed to diversify the U.A.E. economy.
In December 2009, the United Arab Emirates and the United States entered into a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation that enhances international standards of nonproliferation, safety and security. Known as the “123 Agreement,” the pact establishes a required legal framework for commerce in civilian nuclear energy between the two countries. This agreement has been called the “gold standard” by government leaders and nonproliferation experts for its commitment to safety, security and operational transparency.
The development of a civilian nuclear energy sector is part of the U.A.E.’s commitment to diversifying its economy and energy needs. Once all four nuclear power plants are online, the U.A.E. estimates that nuclear energy will produce nearly a quarter of the country’s electrical requirements. The first nuclear power plant in the U.A.E., Barakah, was completed in March of 2018 and will begin generating power in late 2019. The remaining three units will become operational one-by-one by 2021.
The Business Council was a key supporter of the development and implementation of the 123 Agreement and remains commitment to supporting the development of the U.A.E.’s civilian nuclear program.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a member of the Business Council, is one of the largest subcontractors for the U.A.E.’s civilian nuclear power project. In 2012, the company played a significant role in providing coolant pumps and digital control centers for the U.A.E.’s Barakah nuclear facility. Westinghouse is also pursuing a large-scale training program for Emirati engineers to assist the U.A.E. in development and fostering the nuclear energy.
In partnership with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the Council leads a number of high-level trade delegations to introduce interested U.S. parties to grow and expand relationships with U.A.E. civilian nuclear energy decision-makers at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation (ENEC) and across the industry. During the first trade mission in 2010, U.S. participants received high-level briefings on the latest updates and further insight on the bidding process for secondary contracts and the regulatory environment related to the continued development of the U.A.E.’s civilian nuclear energy sector.
The Council and NEI led another trade delegation in December 2015and visited the Barakah nuclear facility.
Despite the U.A.E.’s significant oil and gas reserves, the country has made groundbreaking commitments to developing renewable energy sources. Current energy capacity meets just half of the U.A.E.’s energy demand, forecast for 2030.
In 2017, the United Arab Emirates launched ‘Energy Strategy 2050’, an ambitious clean energy plan. The plan aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the overall energy mix from 25 to 50 percent and decrease the carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent by 2050.
The Business Council encourages the growth and development of renewable energy sources and related knowledge sectors through support for key initiatives: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit, and the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
Oil & Gas Sectors
With nearly 10 percent of the world’s total supply of proven crude oil reserves, the United Arab Emirates is an important and strategic partner in the global energy markets. Oil exports account for approximately 30 percent of the U.A.E.’s economy, and the country has taken steps to ensure the reliable and safe delivery of hydrocarbons to global markets – including the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline that connects Abu Dhabi’s Habshan oil field to the Fujairah port, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.
The U.A.E. has a history of welcoming private sector and foreign investment into its upstream oil and gas exploration and production sectors. The U.S. – U.A.E Business Council has played a leading role in promoting bilateral cooperation between key stakeholders within the oil and gas sectors of both countries.
The Business Council continues to provide its members operating in energy and hydrocarbons with the platform they need to expand their businesses – just as the U.A.E. continues to cultivate its natural resources to reinvest in other growth sectors vital to its comprehensive economic development.Back to Policy Initiatives