THE ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL-ATTIYAH INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
FOR ENERGY & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Energy Industry Report


April - 2021

OPEC’s Long-term Outlook

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created in 1960 by five founding members, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, with the aim to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital.


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March - 2021

Carbon Capture, Use and Storage

CCUS refers to a range of technologies for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from human-made sources including oil, gas and coal-fired power generation and industry, and using it to create useful products or storing it safely underground indefinitely. How has carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) advanced recently? What are important new projects, technologies and trends? What role will it play in tackling climate change, and in which regions?

How does it compare to other low-carbon alternatives? What policies are required for it to progress?


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February - 2021

Are Methane Emissions Driving Us To A 3°C World?

The United Nations Environment Programme suggests that the world is on track for an average temperature rise of 3°c, with CoVid-19 likely to result in just a 0.01°c reduction in global warming by 2050. NASA announced that Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record. This has been driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions, methane being the second most important. What are the main sources of methane emissions and what is their impact on climate? What technologies and approaches are being introduced to measure and reduce methane emissions? And how are international policy and regulation evolving?


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January - 2021

One Year On:The Impact Of The Coronavirus On Energy

The global energy sector endured a dramatic year in 2020, as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic slashed demand and upended markets. Investor confidence slumped, with oil and gas one of the hardest-hit industries, as flights were grounded, fleets parked, factories and refineries closed, and work from home orders imposed. Crucial world economies are still struggling to ease containment measures as new Covid-19 variants spread in 2021. Has Covid-19 resulted in a permanent realignment of world energy markets? How has it influenced the global transition towards renewables? And which of its impacts are here to stay?


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December - 2020

Unconventional Fossil Fuels: Stranded in a Climate-Constrained World?

‘Unconventional’ fossil fuels cover an extensive range of resource types (heavy oil and oil sands, shale/tight hydrocarbons, gas hydrates), some commercially competitive today, others a long way from viability.

The resource base is huge and will be a large contributor to production up to 2050. How will unconventional fossil fuels develop worldwide? Will environmental policies block their adoption?


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November - 2020

Power and Energy: The Impact of the US Elections

What impact will the 2020 United States presidential elections have on the US energy industry?

What energy and environmental policies will the incoming president likely pursue in the first few months of his four-year term, and realistically how able is he to ensure policies proceed through to being ratified, given the congressional results?

And finally, how will this affect the global energy business outside the US?


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October - 2020

Smart Energy: The Impact Of AI On The Energy Business

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly emerging as the central node in a range of digitalisation technologies encompassing big data, machine learnings, the internet of things (IoT), automation, and remote sensing. It already offers improved efficiency, lower costs, and better environmental performance. It is critical to unlocking the full potential of the renewable electricity revolution. Over the next decade and beyond, it will be the key competitive differentiator beyond simple resource endowments. But to make the most of it, companies have to rethink their business models, partnerships, and people, radically.


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September - 2020

Pressure on the Pump: The Future of Fuel Retail

Roadside fuel retail is facing the biggest shake-up in its more than a century-old history. This stems from the rise of electric vehicles, combined with changing consumer tastes and needs, new geographies of fuel demand, and increasing digitalisation and automation. Battery cars will erode the demand for petrol and diesel, and make many traditional retail outlets unprofitable. However, there are new opportunities in offering more sophisticated services and food and beverages, tailoring these to consumers via data analytics, and developing in new geographies in emerging Asia and Africa. How will electricity and other fuels, and new mobility patterns, affect the traditional model of fuel retail? How should fuel retailers adapt?


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August - 2020

The Next Generation: Future Nuclear Technologies

Nuclear power generation has slowed around the world, despite its promise as a low-carbon, large-scale, dispatchable electricity source. New reactor designs promise to be safer, more efficient, cheaper and easier to build. But will costs come down enough for ‘new’ nuclear to compete with renewables and decarbonised fossil fuels?

A wide range of reactor types are in varying stages of design and demonstration in the US, China, Russia and elsewhere. Some are incremental improvements on traditional reactors; others are more radical and unlikely to enter service before the 2030s. These new reactors could have a role in the future energy mix, growing nuclear’s role much beyond its current market share.


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July - 2020

Avoiding Shipwreck: Stranded Assets in Oil and Gas

What is the risk of non-monetisation of fossil fuel resources for major suppliers? How can this risk be mitigated? ‘Stranded assets’ refers to oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be produced, because of climate change policy and/or competition by non-fossil technologies.

An increasing number of international oil companies (IOCs) are reshaping their portfolios due to ‘net-zero’ carbon targets. National oil companies (NOCs) and major producing countries face the risk of not fully monetising their resources amongst the goal and need to limit respective carbon risk.


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June - 2020

Waterfall: The Role of Hydroelectricity

Hydropower is an important part of world electricity, and still larger than all other renewable generation combined. It is highly economic, provides reliable, dispatchable power, and avoids most greenhouse gas emissions. Even though most of the best sites in Europe and the Americas have been exploited, there is still significant room for expansion in Asia and Africa. However, dams bring significant local environmental and social impacts, including habitat loss and human displacement. Dams on multinational rivers have become highly politicised and controversial. What is the role of hydroelectricity in future energy, and how can the negative impacts be managed?


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May - 2020

Pathways to Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier:The Hydrogen Economy

Since the term ‘hydrogen economy’ was first used in 1970, there have been several ‘false dawns’ with bold claims for the speed of transition to hydrogen. This paper argues that this time, for some applications at least, there are grounds for optimism about a future role for decarbonised hydrogen. However, the lesson from history is that bold claims need to be examined carefully and treated with some caution. There are no easy or low-cost solutions to decarbonisation of the energy system, and this is certainly the case for possible deployment of low-carbon hydrogen. This paper addresses the growing attraction of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier over a wide area of applications.


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April - 2020

New Models for Value Creation in Petrochemicals

This report explores the short-term market uncertainties,the impact on petrochemicals of oil pricing volatility, and the acute need for certain petrochemical products whilst the need for others lessens. In this latest report, we ask: What are the new models for value creation in petrochemical companies? What are the challenges to their business model? How has the Covid-19 crisis affected short and long-term value case for petrochemicals, and what new technologies and environmental pressures are firms responding to?


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March - 2020

After the Crash: Short-Term Oil Price Behaviour


Since the coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented and ongoing collapse in oil demand, economic forecasting is almost impossible. However, this research report attempts to explore the various scenarios and how certain decisions by governments, especially in OPEC countries, could impact the timing and pace of the global energy and economic recovery.

What are the short-term oil price scenarios and how will they impact the long-term outlook? How has oil price behaviour been affected by the coronavirus crisis, shale, the end of the OPEC+ agreement, and the rise of non-oil alternatives?


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February - 2020

Gas In The European Union – An Unpredictable Future?

Although natural gas consumption spiked in 2018-19, while domestic production declined, reflecting EU’s growing import dependence, EU policymakers suggest that gas will not play a satisfactory role in the decarbonisation process, urging the need for electrification and renewable gases.

At the same time, new pipelines and LNG terminals are reshaping gas supply to the bloc and facilitating the replacement of coal. This poses the questions: how will natural gas contribute to the EU’s future energy mix, how much and where?


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January - 2020

LNG’s Uncertain Future: Will Spot and Short-Term Pricing and Contracting Become the Norm?

LNG prices are currently low and supply is ample. As sellers search for markets, and spot prices fall below long-term contract prices, oil-linked pricing formulaecome under strain.

Will the oil link be replaced entirely by traded gas-on-gas markers such as JKM? Will short-term and spot cargoes become the norm, as the LNG market evolves to resemble the oil market? Or are long-term, oil-linked contracts still irreplaceable?


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December - 2019

Medium Term Outlook for Oil and Refined Products?

The global refining industry faces a shifting terrain. Demand and refining capacity are moving to the Middle East and Asia, while product specifications are tightening, especially in 2020 for marine fuels. A wave of new refining investment confronts relatively subdued demand growth, and both the feedstock slate and required output are gradually changing. What is the medium-term outlook for the global oil refining industry? How are refiners ensuring future competitiveness? What are the different challenges for independent refiners, international oil companies, and national oil firms from exporting and importing countries?

 


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November - 2019

A Fine Balance: Energy Outlook for 2020

2020 will be a year of fine balance for energy. Geopolitics and the economy will influence the demand for energy and its price, while potentially also affecting supply. The world economy is showing some modest signs of improvement, though trade wars and Brexit remain worries.

 

 


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October - 2019

LNG: How will new technologies in LNG impact its market?

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) faces strong cost competition, both from new projects, and from coal and renewables. Simultaneously, gas is facing environmental opposition, particularly in Europe. Which new technologies are becoming available to reduce costs, generate extra value, and improve environmental footprint? Where in the LNG value chain are they being deployed? And what business models will make the most of these new technologies?


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September - 2019

Policies for Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings is being promoted by governments and environmental and construction organisations, as a key way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save on energy bills, and improve quality of life. What impact will this have on future energy use, and types of consumption, in the residential and commercial buildings sectors? What policies and targets are governments adopting, and how successful are they being? What does this imply for climate policy, and for suppliers of energy to buildings?


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August - 2019

Heavy Metal: Decarbonising Industry

Heavy industry appears to be one of the hardest parts of the economy to decarbonise. Industry overall contributes 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, with almost half of this from four big sectors. How can these emissions be reduced – by efficiency, electrification, carbon capture and other methods – and at what cost? What practical barriers need to be overcome? And what policy and consumer trends do energy-intensive industries need to look out for, and manage?

 


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July - 2019

Getting Around: Future Transport to 2040

The Shape of future transport is now emerging, incorporating exciting new technologies including electrical vehicles, autonomous driving, ride-heiling, and more supeculative possbilites including such as hypersonic flight.Led by a mix of enterpreneurs and state enterprise, new transport is also driven by fuel efficiency standards, carbon pricing, bans on conventional vehicles and other environmental initiatives.

 


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June - 2019

Petrochemicals: Changing Trends in Refineries

National oil companies and international firms alike are focusing increasingly on integrating their refineries with petrochemicals. This offers product synergies, cost savings and value creation through greater flexibility. The grander strategic theme is to protect against a future of falling demand for fuel products. These multi-billion-dollar facilities present greater design and operational challenges, but threaten the economic position of non-integrated refineries.


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May - 2019

The Other Renewables: Beyond Solar and Wind

Most attention on the rapid rise and importance of renewable energy has focussed on wind and solar power. But numerous other forms of renewable energy are available, some commercially exploited today, some in development and some more speculative. What role could they play in future? Are they just a useful adjunct to wind and solar, or do they make an indispensable and differentiated contribution? What technical, commercial, policy and environmental barriers do they have to overcome to realise their potential?


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April - 2019

Dash for Gas? China's Belt and Road and Natural Gas

China's gigantic Belt & Road initiative is designed to connect Eurasia. Energy is large and crucial part of it's plans. it provides potentially gigantic amounts of financing for energy-transporting and -consuming infrastructure , including gas piplines, power plants and LNG terminals. it also has complex geo-economic and geopolitical ramifications. the BRI will be a key influence on the future of gas transport and consumption within Asia, the cenetr of future global demand.

 


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March - 2019

Foreign Shores: National Oil Companies' International Investments

Natural gas, composed mostly of methane, is considered the most climate-friendly of the three main fossil fuels, with only about half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal. But methane is itself a powerful greenhouse gas, particularly on shorter timescales. Leaks of methane during natural gas production, transportation and use threaten to weaken or even eliminate its climate advantage, and some environmental groups have seized on the issue to oppose natural gas developments. How serious is the leakage problem? And how can companies address it?

 


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February - 2019

The Phantom Menace: Impact of Methane Leakage on Gas Climate-Friendliness

Natural gas, composed mostly of methane, is considered the most climate-friendly of the three main fossil fuels, with only about half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal. But methane is itself a powerful greenhouse gas, particularly on shorter timescales. Leaks of methane during natural gas production, transportation and use threaten to weaken or even eliminate its climate advantage, and some environmental groups have seized on the issue to oppose natural gas developments. How serious is the leakage problem? And how can companies address it?

 


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January - 2019

Global Gas Demand: What is the Outlook to 2040 and Beyond for New Emerging Markets, Centres of Growth and Sectors?

Natural gas faces a promising but uncertain future. Clean and versatile, it has the best prospects for growth of the three fossil fuels. Asian demand, in particular, is growing strongly, with China’s anti-pollution drive. But improvements in renewable energy, growing efficiency, and concern over the greenhouse emissions of natural gas, mean its future is not assured. Major gas exporters face a challenge to balance supply and demand appropriately through major and well-planned investment. Innovations in markets and technology open up new geographies and new sectors for access to gas, given the right price levels, infrastructure, financing and regulation. An active approach has the best chance of allowing the leading gas players to make the most of their resources.


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