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Ali Al Janabi

UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining

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UAE Country Chairman, Shell Group of Companies


Ali Al Janabi is the Country Chairman of Shell Group of Companies in the UAE. In his role, he is accountable for providing governance and support for joint ventures that have been formed between Shell and Abu Dhabi partners. He also represents the Royal Dutch Shell Group to the government of the UAE. His experience at Shell includes project development of LNG plants and re-gasification terminals, new market entry, gas-to-liquids (GTL), pipelines, country master plans, and integrated upstream and petrochemicals projects. His experience also includes mergers and acquisitions, LNG supply and trading, investment banking, and project construction and engineering. He has a master’s in engineering from Imperial College London.

A combination of new exploration, unconventional targets, and developing new gas caps should enable Shell to help ADNOC reach its ambitious targets.

Can you tell us about the defining features of Shell’s operations in Abu Dhabi and the significance of the UAE for the company?
In 2019, we will celebrate our 80th anniversary in the UAE. This is a journey we started back in 1939, and our relationship here began in Abu Dhabi but expanded to include Dubai. Historically, we had a 9.5% stake in ADCO until the license expired in 2013. In 1978, we established ADNOC Gas Industries, or GASCO, a joint venture with Total and Partex. We hold 15% alongside Total’s 15% with Partex having 2% and ADNOC maintaining a 68% share. Two years ago, we celebrated 50 years in Dubai, where we have been supplying aviation fuel and with a significant market share of that going to Dubai’s airports to this day. With more than 500 staff across the Emirates, we are firmly committed to the UAE. We have a significant presence across the full value chain, including upstream, midstream, and downstream. With trading offices for some of our products, we supply chemicals, lubricants, and commercial fuels. Strategically, we deliver regional support to areas such as Iraq and other joint ventures in markets such as Oman and Kuwait. While our concession continues for another ten years or so, we are exploring other opportunities in which we can partner. Our discussions with ADNOC aim to uncover how we can best align their priorities with our financial framework.

Where do you see opportunities to deepen this relationship with the UAE further, and what else are you also exploring?
Beyond the joint ventures we have been involved in with ADNOC, R&D, and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) competency have both been key to our efforts to support ADNOC. There is also strong support for upstream, midstream, and downstream activity. Additionally, we are also involved in human capital support with ADNOC Gas Processing and have secondees in various ADNOC departments such as finance and HR. Our gas research
center was set up in 2010 with several ongoing projects in conjunction with the Petroleum Institute, which today is a part of Khalifa University. Shell is a lot more involved with gas when we compare our portfolio to other IOCs, which was by design. Shell has also made bold commitments in regards to greenhouse gas emissions. Regarding collaborations, we will continue to look at where other projects can develop in step with ADNOC.

How are you working in EOR projects, and how do you assess Abu Dhabi’s EOR targets?
Shell has vast expertise in EOR projects built up over 40 years and is probably the leader in EOR. This experience has been developed in neighboring countries. ADNOC’s oil target goes from 3.5 to 4 to 5 million barrels. They are well-managed reservoirs, but the question is how do you extract more from them, and with gas injections of CO2, can they be effective? There are a number of pilot schemes being deployed regarding CO2 and polymers, another segment of our R&D activities. Getting more out of the existing reservoirs and exploration efforts around the new reservoirs also help to achieve production of 5 million bpd. From an EOR perspective, going from gas injection to water flood should free up quite a lot of gas, which could help achieve ADNOC’s gas self-sufficiency target, which is within reach. There is a combination of new gas exploration, and switching from gas injection to water flooding should release some of the gas already injected, potentially developing some of the gas caps that ADNOC has mentioned.



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