News – Strategic partnerships is the way – UNOC CEO

News – Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo speaks on starting UNOC
November 19, 2018
Blog – UNOC will fuel Uganda’s economic development
November 19, 2018

(L-R) Mr. Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Darren W. Woods, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil and Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo, the Chief Excuitve Officer of Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) at a panel discussion on the topic “energy challenges in the new economies” during Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore held 6-7 November 2018.

 

SINGAPORE, 06TH NOVEMBER, 2018 – Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo, the Chief Excuitve Officer of Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), says strategic partnerships is a way for the company to get more involved in technology.

She was speaking at a panel discussion on the topic “energy challenges in the new economies” during Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore held 6-7 November 2018.

The panel moderated by Mr. Nat Bullard, the head of content Bloomberg New Energy Finance, included Mr. Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Dangote Industries Limited, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the Minister of State, United Arab Emirates and Group Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi National Company (ADNOC) and Mr. Darren W. Woods, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil.

“For Uganda, energy transition means moving away from firewood, charcoal and other forms of biomass that make up about 90{c399b9fb8da3f270f781b6c190677f7715233ab9728484db4e16b7cfcef94c25} of the country’s energy,” Dr. Wapakabulo says.

“The (Uganda) national oil company is building a small oil refinery to help do that. Uganda is a new frontier that’s four years away from actual production.”

Mr. Dangote said sub-Saharan Africa has only two oil refineries and his company is building a third, while Dr. Al Jaber revealed that ADNOC is planning a third refinery in Abu Dhabi alone as it aims to double refining capacity.

Technology has been a key topic of conversation across panels and industries at the New Economy Forum.

Mr. Wood said ExxonMobil’s has been investing in energy-efficient plants, technology to capture carbon and more, adding his company’s business is a demand-driven business and the company does that by focusing fundamentally on technology.

He mentioned an experiment with biofuel made from algae. It’s part of about $8 billion the company has invested since 2000 to research, develop and deploy low-carbon technologies.

The Texas oil giant earlier this year said it plans to take its algae-fuel experiment out of the lab and explore whether it can be scaled up to industrial levels in ponds in California.

Woods said Exxonmobile is putting dollars into Research & Development, a key issue for oil markets as companies try to ensure future supply.

For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Al Jaber, said renewable energy will help the country meet demand at home and allow them to sell oil abroad.

He said introducing alternative energy makes “perfect sense,” adding that ADNOC is pursuing renewable energy in parallel with conventional energy.

Speakers on the panel were all bullish on energy: we need more of it and all kinds. But the makeup of the panel reveals some of the challenges in ensuring enough for everyone.

As far as discussion of energy is concerned, rising oil prices have been one of the major headwinds for emerging markets this year. The fact that it’s been coming off from a peak in the recent weeks does give some relief.

Dr. Wapakabulo and Dr. Dangote may have reason to cheer. Africa is finally seeing the benefits from the recovery in crude prices as companies ramp up drilling from Algeria to Namibia.

The rigs are returning, and wildcatters are getting excited again after a years-long hiatus during the oil-price slump.

Al Jaber sees oil markets ‘physically stable,’ adding that it’s only `emotions” that are sparking instability. He echoes Exxon’s Woods in seeing future oil demand remaining robust and ADNOC is counting on Asia to buy the UAE’s crude, refined products and chemicals.

Al Jaber has been very optimistic and bullish about the market situation. He sees unprecedented growth in Asia, particularly, India, Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia.

Woods has a broad spectrum of R&D and has been focusing on climate change and understanding the implications of fossil fuels and carbonization. ExxonMobil is also putting a lot of dollars into researching how society can work in a less carbon-intensive environment.

The U.A.E. recognizes climate change, says Al Jaber, who represented the country at international environmental fora.

The country is also an example of the convergence between environmental solutions and economics.

ADNOC like Uganda eliminated gas flaring, allowing the Emirate to capture a valuable resource it needs at home. Ends—/