UK minister highlights strength of British business ties with UAE at ADIPEC 2012

Abu Dhabi: Speaking to industry decision makers attending the Middle East’s largest oil and gas show today, Britain’s Minister of State for International Development said the UAE and UK were building on 200 years of shared history and that UK industry was at the forefront of development in the energy sector.

The Right Honourable Alan Duncan MP, the official head of the UK delegation attending the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition (ADIPEC), said the large presence of UK companies at the event reflected its importance to British industry.

Addressing VIP delegates at the Middle East Petroleum Club, an exclusive networking venue for top oil and gas officials, he said, “UK companies now lead the world in many areas of finding, developing and extracting oil and gas as well as managing installations in an export industry worth over $10bn a year, roughly equivalent of 25% of the UK’s total energy sector.” Oil and gas provides 440,000 jobs in the UK and generates a quarter of the country’s tax revenues. Responsible for a total capital investment of GBP8.5bn in 2011, the sector is the UK’s largest industrial investor.

A former oil trader and a regular visitor to the UAE over the last 30 years, Mr Duncan was attending ADIPEC a week after the official visit to the UAE of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Duncan said the prime minister’s recent stay was a “demonstration of our commitment to the relationship with UAE, politically, culturally and commercially. Ours is a partnership of equals, building on the firm foundation of our shared history stretching back 200 years.” The minister said the UK pavilion at ADIPEC showed the diversity of Britain’s offer to the regional oil and gas industry and the capabilities of its technology. Mr Duncan said British expertise had been honed by the experience of working in the North Sea, a highly challenging environment for oil and gas exploration and production.

Mr Duncan praised the extensive collaboration between the UAE and the UK on energy development, pointing to their involvement in Masdar, the London Array wind power project, and the Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency.

He said continued cooperation between the two countries would seek to promote additional opportunities for the UAE workforce, in line with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision.

Mr Duncan extolled the virtues of ADIPEC 2012 and the Middle East Petroleum Club as a world-class venue for business exchange.

“As a networking opportunity it’s clearly fantastic and I think the British presence is so encouraging,” he said. “[The Middle East Petroleum Club] works really well, and I think the whole atmosphere, the way it is laid out and the way it is hosted is excellent.” Hosted in a purpose-built marquee in the grandstand area of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Middle East Petroleum Club is a new innovation at ADIPEC providing a discreet setting for high-level discussions between oil and gas decision makers, who sealed agreements worth more than $4bn at the previous show in 2010.

Simon Mellor, Senior Vice President of dmg::events, organiser of ADIPEC 2012, said: “We were delighted to receive Mr Alan Duncan at the Middle East Petroleum Club and to have the opportunity to share his insights with the industry’s top executives in such a luxury setting.” The 15th edition of ADIPEC, the largest oil and gas show outside North America, is being held on the theme ‘Sustainable Energy Growth: People, Responsibility ‘&’ Innovation’ from November 11-14.

Covering 38,000 square metres of exhibition space, including an 8,500-square-metre outdoor complex, ADIPEC 2012 is nearly 20% bigger than the 2010 show in terms of exhibition space and has more than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions.

ADIPEC 2012 expects to host 50,000 visitors from 91 countries and 300 expert industry speakers.

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