Shell celebrates 80 years in the United Arab Emirates
Ali Al Janabi, country chair for Shell Abu Dhabi and VP of Shell Upstream for Abu Dhabi and Syria, comments on its 80th anniversary in the country, and the outlook for the oil major in the UAE
Tell me about Shell’s operations in the UAE.
Shell this year celebrates 80 years in the UAE, it is a very proud moment for us. Our journey started in 1939 and now we are about 500 staff in the UAE, spanning across upstream, midstream, downstream, and trading activities. We are very much proud and honoured to be part of this journey.
We have a joint venture with ADNOC Gas Processing which is a key and important joint venture, which basically handles, processes, and supplies 70% of Abu Dhabi’s gas supply. In Dubai, we also have been honoured to be a partner with the Dubai authorities to basically supply LNG, and today we supply between 1 and 2 million tons of LNG into Dubai.
Similarly, we have downstream operations, aviation, and supplying jet fuel to the Dubai, Maktoum and Sharjah airports. Today we fuel about 100 planes a day, which is quite significant. On the downstream side, we have had the honour to be involved in the resurfacing of the Dubai International Airport runway, where Shell’s speciality bitumen was used.
And then we have commercial operations, chemicals, our new business development, and some of the Iraq support operations come out of Dubai as well.
What is the outlook for Shell in the UAE?
We will continue to focus on our strengths, technical support. We have got a lot of technical support that we provide to ADNOC, whether it is on the upstream, sour gas processing packages, licencing, but similarly, also supporting with the ADNOC Refining, in the downstream, whether it is catalysts or licencing.
We continue to grow our footprint, whether it is on the energy solutions side, lubricants, for example, today we actually power one hundred and seventy five thousand vehicles through the lubricants supply in our portfolio.
Shell has an established track record in the UAE. What do you see as potential growth opportunities in the UAE, as we face an energy transition?
What makes the UAE unique is that it is a plug-and-play. And because of this plug-and-play, you will have a lot more companies that make up this part of this ecosystem.
[At ADIPEC] we [were] displaying hydrogen, and a hydrogen-powered car. Will hydrogen play a role here? That is a question for all of us, whether it is Shell, the government, or other strategic partners.
When we look at the future in terms of fuel supply, we will continue to focus on gas. Irrespective of what people think of the energy transition, gas will continue to play an important role in the energy mix, and so will oil, for the coming decades.
On the downstream side, we are really looking at where our niches are. This year, for example, we launched a new lubricant. It is catering directly to the market, geared towards four-by-four vehicles and four-wheel drive.
Similarly, in terms of industrial machines, we look at the industrial lubricants, we are quite heavily involved with that. So it is really looking at where the market shifts are happenning, and we will continue to focus on those areas.