ENERGY | UAE Should Establish a National Research Council to Advance R&D Goals, GI's Energy Industry Survey Says
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ENERGY | UAE Should Establish a National Research Council to Advance R&D Goals, GI's Energy Industry Survey Says

By Gulf Intelligence

Industry, Academia and Government Need to Align R&D Strategies to Reach ADNOC’s Target of 70% Oil Reservoir Recovery Rates, Top-10 Findings of Energy Industry Survey Show

ENERGY | GI's Energy Industry Survey 2015 : UAE Should Establish a National Research Council to Advance R&D Goals

Dubai, UAE – Nov. 8th 2015 – The United Arab Emirates should establish a National Research Council to provide crystal clarity direction to industry on what are the country’s top research and development priorities and to facilitate partnerships between national and international stakeholders, was one of the Top 10 findings of a Gulf Intelligence Industry Survey conducted with 200 UAE energy stakeholders.

Governments, especially in developing countries, are key players and quite often lead factors in building the soft and hard R&D infrastructure, and often need to intervene collectively and strategically if they want to create a knowledge-based economy, a Gulf Intelligence Industry Survey Report released on the first day of ADIPEC 2015 stated. One such intervention in the UAE would be the establishment of a Research Council to advance the energy R&D sector and provide a roadmap for future development, which will be critical to encourage partnerships between industry, academia and government, said 86 percent of the respondents polled.

Abu Dhabi, which is in the midst of a 5-year period of renewing its 75-year-old oil concessions (onshore and offshore), will struggle to reach its target oil reservoir recovery rate of 70%, double the global average, without attracting world class energy R&D centers and researchers to the UAE, a vast majority of respondents said. The energy industry survey was conducted in September with the support of Maersk Oil and attempted to answer the question -- ‘How to Build an Energy R&D Eco-System in the UAE that Incorporates the International Energy Industry as a Key Pillar of that Ecosystem?’

The role of a National Research Centre “is to be the facilitator of an innovation ecosystem with a cross-institutional collaborative environment, setting up collaborative programs and projects between the oil companies and technology companies, service companies, academia and government authorities,” said Dr. Bo Cerup-Simonsen, Managing Director of the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre, which was founded by Maersk Oil last year with a budget of $150m to support the company’s North Sea assets.

The Top-10 findings of the survey highlighted how Abu Dhabi - which holds close to 10% of the world’s proven oil reserves – is on the right path, but its progress could be accelerated by encouraging an entrepreneurial culture around R&D. The UAE has declared 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’, with the aim of becoming a hub of innovation over the next seven years. The latest addition to Abu Dhabi’s R&D toolkit is the opening of the $100m Petroleum Institute Research Center (PIRC) later this year. 

Lower oil prices shouldn’t derail Abu Dhabi’s R&D plans, the Survey respondents encouraged, even though over 70% of those polled expect Brent crude oil to average $40-$60 a barrel in 2016. An overwhelming majority of the survey respondents urged the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC to make it a contractual obligation for international energy companies seeking to join the new 40-year oil and gas concessions currently under review to invest in the country’s energy R&D ecosystem.

About The Survey and Research Report

The Gulf Intelligence IndustrySurvey Report 2015
The Gulf Intelligence Industry Survey Report 2015 is a white paper based on the results of an Industry Survey conducted in the UAE in September 2015 by Gulf Intelligence Research with more than 200 regionally-based energy-sector executives and their peers in national industry, academia and government in pursuit of answers to the principle question of this report.

The Research was bolstered with a series of one-on-one interviews with 20 international oil companies under the framework of Chatham House Rules i.e. off the record not for citation, many of which currently operate in the UAE and some who are seeking that opportunity. This was complimented by a feature interview with Dr. Wafik Beydoun, who is tasked with the responsibility of leading ADNOC’s R&D team. 

This Research Report was supported by Denmark’s Maersk Oil, which collaborates with more than 35 universities and technology institutions and hosts research centres in countries where it has major operations such as Denmark and Qatar. Accordingly, Maersk Oil is engaged in several hundred research projects worldwide which help the company access and develop the knowledge and technology required to sustain current operations and support the development of new partnerships.

About The Gulf Intelligence

Gulf Intelligence facilitates knowledge exchange between stakeholders in the energy, finance and healthcare sectors operating across the Middle East. The strategic communications and public affairs consultancy produces boutique industry forums and roundtable discussion series globally with an architecture that ensures all participants engage in a dynamic and competitive exchange of knowledge towards a shared goal. The Dubai-based firm assists Middle East companies and government entities to tap dormant intelligence and create knowledge reservoirs that can be utilized to bolster their profiles, to communicate with stakeholders and to overwhelm competitors. 

For further details, please contact: 

Annette Bontke
PR & Communications Director
Gulf Intelligence FZ LLC 
Tel: +971 4 4508980
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