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UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining

Elias Kassis

President, TotalEnergies EP UAE & TotalEnergies Country Chair in the UAE

Bio

Before his current role, Elias Kassis held the position of vice president of energy transition in the MENA division of TotalEnergies Exploration & Production. Prior to that, he held a range of roles within the firm, working in Yemen, Malaysia, Iraq, Venezuela, and Qatar. He began his career at the firm in 1991. He has a master’s in engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble and a master’s in finance from ESSEC Business School.

"We are becoming a multi-energy company."
TotalEnergies is ingrained into the UAE’s energy sector landscape, and while it remains a key player in oil and gas, it is keen to play a significant role in the energy transition.
How does TotalEnergies aim to use its innovation capabilities to generate greener, cleaner more reliable solutions, therefore contributing to the nation’s energy mix?

We are becoming a multi-energy company. In 2021, we changed our name from Total to TotalEnergies in support of our ambition on the road to net zero by 2050, together with society. When I say multi-energy, this includes oil and gas because it is part of our business. In oil, the company is highly selective and focuses its investments on projects with a low breakeven point and low emissions. And natural gas is a key fuel for the energy transition. We have also started investing in new energies, with a strong focus on renewables, solar, and wind. Our gross installed capacity for renewables rose from 10GW in 2021 to 17GW in 2022. We are now working on projects to achieve our 2030 objective of 100GW. We are also investing in new molecules like clean hydrogen, biofuels, biogas, and e-fuels. Our mission is to provide more energies to meet increasing world demand, with less emissions, and to always be sustainable. We indeed also act on our emissions. Reducing both the GHG emissions at our operated facilities and the lifecycle carbon intensity of the products we sell are key to our ambition to supply more energy while curbing GHG emissions. We have set the objective of a 40% reduction in net emissions at Scopes 1 and 2 in 2030 compared with 2015. Reducing methane emissions is also a priority in efforts to mitigate global warming. To date, 150 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge, launched in Glasgow in 2021 and which aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. In early 2022, we set very ambitious, specific targets for the company for the decade ahead that call for a 50% reduction from 2020 levels by 2025 and 80% in 2030. These targets cover all the operated assets of the company.

What have been the primary challenges across the LNG value chain?

With 48Mt sold in 2022, TotalEnergies has strengthened its position as the world’s third-largest LNG company. LNG plays a key role in the net-zero roadmaps of many coal-consuming countries. It’s also a perfect partner for intermittent renewable energies given that flexible and dispatchable CCGT plants provide a secure electricity supply in the context of weather events and fluctuations in demand. We are integrated along the value chain in production in a large number of countries, in regas facilities, and in marketing and trading activities. As an illustration of this, we were selected in 2022 in Qatar as a partner for its NFE and NFS LNG expansion projects; the connection of our assets to two additional floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in Lubmin, Germany in late 2022; and a project in Le Havre, France, planned for 3Q2023, will increase our total regasification capacity to more than 20Mt in 2023, And to supply these terminals, TotalEnergies is relying in particular on its position as the leading exporter of US LNG to Europe, with exports standing at more than 10Mt in 2022.

TotalEnergies and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have signed a strategic partnership agreement that aims to jointly evaluate new growth opportunities. Which areas are crucial for this agreement?

We are transforming and the UAE and ADNOC are transforming as well. TotalEnergies has been present in the UAE for more than 80 years, where it has built a longstanding presence, reflected by the size and diversity of its multi-energy assets and partnerships. It is today the first foreign company active in the country, with all its businesses present. We are partners with ADNOC on the ADNOC onshore concession and in the Umm Shaif/Nasr and Lower Zakum offshore oil concessions. In March 2023, we signed an agreement to acquire a 20% interest in the SARB and Umm Lulu offshore concession, meeting our low-cost, low-emissions criteria. We are also a key player in the strategic sector of gas in the UAE, a partner to ADNOC Gas in ADNOC LNG and ADNOC Gas Processing and in unconventional gas. We work with ADNOC to further develop our joint assets and add value. In gas, TotalEnergies is also partner in Dolphin Energy. TotalEnergies has been active in the country’s power generation since 2001 through the Taweelah desalination plant and power station, which meets around 10% of Abu Dhabi’s water and electricity needs, in partnership with TAQA. In renewables, TotalEnergies is a partner of Masdar in UAE’s first concentrated solar power plant, which was inaugurated in 2013 with a capacity of 109MW.

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