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. Construction on the first U.A.E. nuclear power plant, Barakah, is 75 percent complete, with the facility scheduled to begin producing electricity in 2017. The remaining three units will come online one-by-one from 2018 onwards.
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 Emriates 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 will lead another trade delegation in December 2015, including a visit to 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. Renewable energy sources are expected to become major sources of energy to help meet the demands of the growing population and robust infrastructure development.
In combination with its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030, the U.A.E. has aimed to attract $100 billion of investment in alternative and sustainable energy projects by 2020.
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.
Working with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Mubadala, the Business Council has supported and taken part each year in both the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, and the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in Abu Dhabi. In May 2015, the Business Council hosted a joint visiting Emirati delegation from ADNOC and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI) and their subsidiary companies in Texas to kick-off OTC 2015. 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.
For more information:
U.A.E. Embassy Website on Peaceful Nuclear Energy
Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation: U.A.E. National Report
Agreement for Cooperation Between the U.S. and the U.A.E. Concerning Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy. -White Paper
Policy of the United Arab Emirates on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy
World Nuclear Association