Striking the balance

Security and transition in the Middle East

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Securing while transitioning energy
Can we strike the balance?

This year at ADIPEC, the world’s largest energy conference, Wood hosted a leadership roundtable to bring industry leaders together to discuss how the energy industry can achieve a sustainable balance between the demands for secure energy supply and the need for a just transition to net-zero.

Hosted in conjunction with Gulf Intelligence, the strategic session brought together senior leaders from across the industry, including ADNOC, OGCI, Aramco, HSBC and the Hydrogen Council, to consider growing energy security concerns amidst the current geopolitical, social and economic context.

As an established world leader in the energy sector, the Middle East is at the heart of this discussion and is already gaining significant momentum in its path to achieving 2030 ambitions. How can the industry scale up this transition at pace, decarbonise production, invest in clean energy and still supply energy to meet growing demand?

ADIPEC roundtableADIPEC roundtable

“There was a clear urgency in the room, and indeed across the ADIPEC exhibition halls, that finding balance between energy security and energy transition was the top priority facing every part of the industry value chain, from national resource owners and their operating partners to midstream and downstream supply chains, with decarbonisation at the top of everyone’s list.” said Sean Evers, Managing Partner at Gulf Intelligence, and the moderator of the session.

Ensuring energy security means not only providing consistent access to energy, but also securing supplies at an affordable price. Producers across the globe are investing in technologies and prioritising energy efficiency to manage the increase in demand. However, this rapid increase in demand could lead to a rise in carbon and other emissions. Policy changes and government decarbonisation targets are placing pressure on producers to diversify their energy mix and accelerate the energy transition as well as drive investments in cleaner, modern energy.

Damon Hill, Wood’s President of Growth and Development for projects, and host of the session said, “It was evident from the discussion that fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in safeguarding a steady and reliable energy supply. However, to ensure we don’t undermine the efforts already in place to tackle climate change, the industry needs to continue addressing this challenge at pace and set their own strategies to reduce their carbon emissions throughout the value chain.”

Leaders around the table expanded on the topic regarding stronger climate targets and investment incentives, which the global environmental agenda has accelerated, and how this has created more momentum around hydrogen and CCUS in particular.

Damon added: “Hydrogen is an attractive energy source due to its cleaner burn and versatility and while the pipeline for these projects continues to grow, the deployment is trailing and production at scale is a new challenge facing the industry.

“The Middle East is positioning to become one of the world’s major hydrogen hubs, specifically for the manufacturing of green hydrogen. Not only does the region have access to plenty of low-cost renewable sources of energy, but it has the capital required to integrate renewables into new and existing infrastructure.”

The roundtable concluded with an agreement that energy security and energy transition are not separate challenges. Delivering energy diversity through transition, digital integration as well as reducing emissions from existing energy sources are all key to ensuring the security and stability of energy supplies, now and in the future. It is crucial that the industry collaborates, invests and continues to commit to addressing these challenges to ensure a sustainable world for generations to come.

The output of the roundtable discussion is being collated into a whitepaper which will be released early next year.

Want to hear more insights from Wood on this topic? Listen to our latest podcast with Wood’s Technology Development Director, Richard Spires and Gulf Intelligence Managing Partner, Sean Evers, recorded live during ADIPEC 2022: Securing while transitioning energy: can we strike the balance? | Wood (