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Elias Kassis President, TotalEnergies EP UAE & TOTAL ENERGIES Country Chair IN UAE

UAE - Energy & Mining

Elias Kassis

President, TotalEnergies EP UAE, TOTAL ENERGIES Country Chair IN UAE

Bio

Elias Kassis is President TotalEnergies EP UAE & TotalEnergies Country Chair in the UAE, a position he has held since 2021. Previously, he was vice president energy transition in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) division of TotalEnergies Exploration & Production, vice president North Africa in the MENA division and managing director of the TotalEnergies E&P affiliates in Yemen, Malaysia, and Iraq, and vice president in the TotalEnergies E&P Middle East division and vice president Venezuela in TotalEnergies E&P Americas division. He held other assignments as well in Venezuela and Qatar. Kassis began his career within TotalEnergies in 1991 and has held various positions in the trading and gas and power divisions until 2002. He holds an engineering master’s degree from Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble and a master’s degree in finance from ESSEC Business School.

"Energy is a long-term industry, and you need to plan for the longer term while taking immediate steps toward the 2050 objectives in line with the Paris Climate Accord."
What was the push behind transforming from Total to TotalEnergies?

We came to a turning point in 2020, which is when the company has evolved, not just visually or as a brand, but to say who we are. In 2024, we will celebrate 100 years, and we have been in the UAE for more than 80 years. Energy is a long-term industry, and you need to plan for the longer term while taking immediate steps toward the 2050 objectives in line with the Paris Climate Accord. Getting to net zero by 2050 has to be a collective effort. Net zero for us by 2050 is for our company and society. That’s how we moved from Total to TotalEnergies. TotalEnergies is now a multi-energy company, and we are focused on energy supply and not only oil and gas supply. We expect demand and the climate objectives to evolve over time between now and 2050, and we are positioning ourselves for that and making it our mission to supply energy to the market. Gas will be a means for the energy transition because gas and renewables go together. We see oil demand plateauing by 2030. Our ambition is to invest in low-cost and low-carbon oil and gas. We need to have a set of good-quality energy sources. The UAE is well placed as such, because it has large resources with low cost of production and low carbon intensity as compared to others. The second focus for us is gas, because it has fewer emissions, and demand for gas and LNG in particular is increasing. Today, we are among the three largest LNG suppliers in the world, the two others being Shell and Qatar Energy. The ambition is to grow that business because there is demand. We are advocating for a reduction in coal use due to its emissions. With electricity, we are 100% onboard with renewables. Looking at Shams Solar Power Plant, it began with 100MW, though by the end of 2021 we will be partner in close to 10GW through projects where we are a partner. The objective by 2030 is to have 100GW of installed capacity, solar, and offshore wind in our portfolio.

Which less-explored energy source will define TotalEnergies operations in the future?

We will work with them all. Today, hydrogen is already produced in refineries, and it makes what is called gray hydrogen, and there is a facility called SMR that burns gas and produces hydrogen. We are looking for a way to decarbonize hydrogen to be used for power or transportation, though that technology is still in the making. You need massive production and ways to reduce costs and develop markets to use hydrogen as an energy vehicle. That could take time, though it could work for power generation and transportation. Part of the company’s goal, among other things, is to work on this hydrogen.

How do you expect to specifically contribute to the energy goals that the UAE has laid out to be achieved by 2050?

We work hand-in-hand with ADNOC. We are proud to be a key partner and present in almost all its key assets. We are working on a roadmap and the journey along with it. Our work is part of its strategy as we understand it, and this is part of our strategy as a company; it is about more energy and lower emissions. We provide ideas, proposals, and technology on that journey toward decarbonization. We can take these a step forward in light of ADNOC’s ambitions to reduce emissions by 2030. In November 2020, we signed a strategic framework agreement with ADNOC about emissions and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). We are working concretely on that together with ADNOC via our role as an asset lead for some of our fields and initiatives. We want to bring down the emissions of those operations.

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