ENERGY PUMPIN’

Dubai 2017 | ENERGY & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to HE Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO of ENOC, on Dubai's expanding energy demands, retail innovations, and the role of young Emiratis in the industry.

HE Saif Humaid Al Falasi
BIOGRAPHY
As a 34-year veteran in the energy industry, HE Saif Humaid Al Falasi’s wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge spans a wide range of specialties, including project management and petroleum asset evaluation operations. HE Al Falasi joined ENOC in 2008 as Group General Manager. In 2011, he was appointed Executive Director for the Environment, Health, Safety and Quality, and Corporate Affairs Directorate overseeing functions of key divisions within the group. Before joining ENOaC, he worked with the ADNOC Group, where he executed multiple development plans for the largest oil fields in Abu Dhabi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana Tech University, US.

With domestic energy consumption rates increasing due to a growing population, will Dubai's production levels be enough to supply the growing demand?

At the national level, oil production was estimated at around 3 million bpd in early 2017, which served not just domestic energy needs but also fulfilled the requirements of our trading partners. Dubai's population alone is expected to reach 3.3 million by 2021, jumping from the current 2.5 million, and then peak at 5.2 million by 2030. We are seeing increasing fuel demand for the automotive sector as well as for electricity generation and water production. ENOC Group has a long-term strategy to ensure that energy infrastructure and the value chain under its control can supply the energy and energy products necessary for Dubai's continued growth. Therefore, we are investing several strategic projects designed to bolster Dubai's infrastructure. Our E&P arm, Dragon Oil, produces approximately 100,000bpd and has added a new segment to ENOC's business portfolio, providing a platform from which to pursue growth. Our Jebel Ali refinery capacity expansion will also increase volumes from 140,000bpd to 210,000bpd by 2020 and add several new products. On the retail side, ENOC is expanding its UAE network of service stations by 54 outlets between now and 2020, and we are continuously working on investment programs to ensure the efficient execution of critical projects and building infrastructure to support the energy needs of the Emirate.

What are the key trends in the evolution of the retail sector within the oil and gas industry?

Innovation and technology are key components that will drive the growth of the retail space within the oil and gas industry. Within the sector, we have seen several innovations that have helped speed up the refueling process at fuel stations. ENOC Group has been a keen contributor to the ease of services and launched some innovative payment methods. The Vehicle Identification Pass (ViP) for both commercial and individual use was first implemented in 2014 to speed up the refueling process and enables customers to better manage their accounts at each fueling transaction. Similarly, we recently introduced PIN-less and paperless debit and credit card transactions in of our service station network, which was a first in the UAE for fuel retailers. This will significantly reduce waiting times at ENOC and EPPCO service stations. Going forward, we envision self-checkouts in convenience stores to be big very soon. The evolution of Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) will develop into anti-theft, payment, tracking, stock keeping, ordering, and monitoring mechanisms.

How are policy and regulatory factors impacting the energy industry?

The November 2016 OPEC deal to reduce oil production for the first time in eight years steadied the international oil price. Another factor is the UAE Energy Plan 2050, which was launched in January 2017 to enhance the country's energy security. Dubai's announcement of the Emirate's plans for clean energy to account for 75% of its energy portfolio by 2050 preceded the national plan. As the key energy infrastructure partner to the Dubai government, ENOC has made significant contributions to support these strategies

What are the key imperatives to attract young talent to the oil and gas industry?

Emiratization is a key factor in the recruitment process to make the sector attractive to UAE nationals. This is a key priority as a national oil company operating across the international energy value chain. As our portfolio of services and operations continue to grow in Dubai and internationally, we look to ramp up our recruitment efforts to enhance human capital development and facilitate the growth of our organization. Attracting the right talent lies within the fabric of our organization and is a key contributor to driving success. Emiratization will remain a key priority for us as we continue to pursue new projects in Dubai and beyond and remain committed to reach a target of 50% Emiratization by 2021.