By: Hatem Mohamed ABU DHABI, 30th April, 2018 (WAM) — Toshiaki Kitamura, President & CEO of INPEX, has expressed conviction that Abu Dhabi economy will continue to flourish thanks to its investment-conducive environment and rich natural resources.
Referring to his meeting today with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the chief of Japan’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company, told Emirates News Agency (WAM): “I always get the impression that he has very committed devotion to his nation. He has a very good vision, and therefore every time we meet him we get sure that the future of Abu Dhabi and the country would be much brighter and we hope INPEX would keep contributing to the development of Abu Dhabi’s natural resources.”
The Japanese official made the statements on the sidelines of the Japan-UAE Business Forum which convened today in Abu Dhabi and saw the attendance of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030″ led by His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi creates a good business environment that welcomes and promote investments and SMEs. We have been closely watching the developments in your country and noticed that other GCC states are now trying to follow suit, which is a sign of the tremendous success achieved by the UAE.”
On the agreement signed today with ADNOC, appointing INPEX as the asset leader for Lower Zakum Field, Kitamura said, “We are honoured by this agreement as this is the first instance that a company other than an “oil major” is appointed as asset leader for a giant offshore field in Abu Dhabi.”
“The agreement is a testament to the track record of INPEX and its contribution to the oil development operations in Abu Dhabi. It reflects our unwavering commitment and the long-term legacy we have built and maintained with the UAE across the years,” he maintained.
Kitamura doubled on the point that it is not a success for INPEX only, but rather a major boost to relations between UAE and Japan.
“INPEX views the UAE as one of its core business areas and will continue to strive to strengthen its oil development activities and contribution efforts in Abu Dhabi as well as help further deepen the cordial relations between Abu Dhabi and Japan, while working to increase its corporate value at the same time. The awarding of onshore concessions by ADNOC and the extension of Upper Zakum concessions in 2017 don’t contribute to INPEX status only, but also bolster the energy security of Japan.”
He added that INPEX will devote its “human and technical resources to the operations at the Lower Zakum oil field, and will play an advisory role to ADNOC. The company will also work closely with ADNOC Offshore to achieve production targets, consider and deploy EOR technology most suitable for the field, reduce development and production costs and transfer technical knowledge.”
Reflecting on the global oil scene, Kitamura expected prices to end up at $70 per barrel or bit less by the end of the year.
“The current $74 per barrel is bit higher than what it should be considering the basic supply-demand situation. The price recovery as I can see it is attributed to the regional tension between US and Iran over the nuclear file in addition to OPEC’s and Russia’s success in controlling supply, which is a good support for the price recovery. But if I am asked about my opinion I would say it would be around $70 per barrel or bit les by the end of 2018.”
Kitamura belittled the impact of Shale players on the global scene despite the current rise in prices. “Shale players have potential but they have three types of limits: geological limits; financing limits; and cost production pressures. Combining the three limits means to me that their impact would be limited even if prices continue around $70.”
He however underlined the importance of forging more collaboration between OPEC and Russia that can evolve into a “sort of market stabilising mechanism. OPEC and Russian leaders should recognise the need to maintain investment and resource development. Their success in developing a robust oil market stabilizing mechanism would be welcomed by both consumers and producers alike and would contribute to the global economy as well. We hope this goal would be realised by OPEC leaders and we are optimistic to see (Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei) UAE Minister of Energy (and Industry) as President of the OPEC Conference for 2018.”