UAE's ADNOC to explore clean energy expansion, CEO says

FILE PHOTO: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group CEO, speaks the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates January 13, 2020. WAM/Handout via REUTERS.

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will look at expanding into clean energy, with investments in hydrogen an area of interest for the oil producer, chief executive officer Sultan al-Jaber said on Wednesday.

“We are pursuing hydrogen as a potential new venture as part of clean energy and clean technology strategy,” al-Jaber told the Energy Intelligence forum.

Hydrogen has long-been touted as a potential clean fuel as it only emits water vapour but it has failed to gain traction, mainly because of historically high production, transportation and storage costs.

But the oil company expects that hydrocarbons will remain at the core of its business.

“By 2030, oil and gas will remain at the heart of ADNOC’s business model,” al-Jaber said

He said that even in the most fast-pace energy transition scenarios, the world would continue to get more than half of its energy needs from oil and gas for many decades to come.

The company is also sticking to its strategy of reaching an oil production capacity of 5 million barrels per day by 2030, al-Jaber said.

He said that the oil market had “clearly tightened,” and he remained cautiously optimistic, adding that it was still important to keep a close eye on the new COVID-19 movement restrictions and their impact on economic recovery.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Ahmad Ghaddar; editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman