• 4 hours Midwestern Refiners Seek Canadian Oil To Expand Output
  • 9 hours UK On Track To Approve Construction of “Mini” Nuclear Reactors
  • 13 hours LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says
  • 15 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 18 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 20 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 21 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 4 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 4 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 4 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 4 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 4 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 4 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 4 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 4 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 5 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 5 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 5 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 5 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 5 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 6 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 6 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 6 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 6 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 7 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 7 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 7 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 7 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 7 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 7 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 7 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 7 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
Alt Text

Tesla Execs Bail As Cash Flow Hits Record Lows

Amid a rough second quarter…

Alt Text

Richard Branson To Invest In Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One

Britain’s Virgin Group boss has…

Alt Text

Energy Giant Bets On Battery Breakthrough Within 5 Years

Utility giant Duke Energy expects…

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

More Info

Saudis Lead Gulf Movement To Diversify Away From Oil

WInd Oil

With the Saudi Aramco initial public offering set to debut on international markets in 2018, the oil world is watching closely as the OPEC leader transforms its economy under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan. But the KSA isn’t the only Gulf nation gearing up for a radical change in its energy formula.

The United Arab Emirates is setting its sights on nuclear power to ensure the small nation can meet demand in the coming years, energy minister Suhail Al Mazroui told reporters this week.

The Middle East’s first nuclear power plant should go live in the UAE in 2018, as the nation prepares to host an international ministerial summit on the power source at the end of next month. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in the UAE signifies global “recognition” of the country’s “successful efforts” in developing a peaceful nuclear power program, Al Mazroui said. The main components of the Barakah 1 reactor completed construction back in May, but operating Nawah Energy Company is still waiting on final licensing approvals from regulators before operating commercials. Basically, they just need to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

By the time the remaining three units of the Barakah complex is complete, a full quarter of the UAE’s electricity will be derived from the plant.   Related: Is It Time For OPEC To Turn The Taps Back On?

Currently, natural gas powers roughly all of the UAE’s energy needs. The UAE Energy Plan 2050 will lower the contribution of gas to 38 percent, while that of clean fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energy will be raised to 12 percent, 6 percent and 44 percent, respectively, by 2050. Technical assistance from Iran and France and financial investments from Gulf partners allowed the project to come to fruition, according to The Daily Caller.

France is a known international leader in nuclear energy because the country meets three-fourths of its energy demand with the power source. Iran is an unlikely ally for the UAE on the nuclear power front, considering the latter sides with Saudi Arabia on all sectarian issues. In the Gulf’s current dispute against Qatar—which is based on a rejection of Doha’s lukewarm stance on Iran—the UAE stands by its Sunni allies, kicking Qatari LNG ships off Emirati docks.

Qatar, the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world, probably has a decade or so left before it really needs to worry about alternative sources of income. In developed countries, natural gas is seen as a gateway fossil fuel, meaning its demand will rise as oil sinks in popularity. 

The Gulf nations’ efforts to steer away from fossil fuels can be traced back decades with side projects that have had limited scope and success. The desert status of the Arabian Peninsula puts a high priority on water security for the area’s residents. The chemical process of desalination consumes high levels of electricity that must be fed to treatment plants in a swift and stable manner, and wind and solar energies are not known for their reliability.

For decades, the Gulf Cooperation Council nations have reaped millions in oil profits, which they have leveraged for two main end goals: subsidizing the lifestyles of their citizens and empowering large sovereign wealth funds to buy market-proof investments worldwide.

Related: Controversial Lake Michigan Nuclear Power Plant To Stay Open

Now, as a wave of climate change awareness and peak oil fears sweeps across the world, the biggest benefactors of the oil game have all made public commitments to end their reliance on fossil fuels as an economic backbone. Kuwait did it in its 2030 blueprint published back in 2010, which sets a renewables goal of 15 percent by the end of the plan’s term. Its population of 4.4 million requires 350,000 barrels of oil per day to generate electricity and desalinate seawater.

One by one, the fortresses of oil wealth on the Persian Gulf will fall, forcing those nations to kick their reform plans into high gear. Though Saudi Arabia has been the loudest voice for economic diversification in the region, its sidekicks are just as eager to see a future independent of fossil fuels for their countries.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Naomi on October 02 2017 said:
    The wells are dry.
  • Refman on October 03 2017 said:
    The Saudis have been talking about this for decades. They'll do a couple of token projects to make it look like they did something and then it will all grind to a halt.
  • James Rose on October 05 2017 said:
    The first nuclear power plant built in the middle east?

    The Soreq Nuclear Research Center in Israel was built by American Machine and Foundry in late 1950s. This gave cover and concealment to a much larger nuclear power plant used for making plutonium at the French built Dimona reactor in Israel which went critical between 1962 and 1964.

    The 5 megawatt-thermal (MWth) pool-type light water research reactor, Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) built by the United States for Iran in 1967 and fueled by weapon-grade uranium was Iran's first reactor. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspects this reactor.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News