x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Big Oil's green show in capital

Several of the world's biggest international oil companies put on a brave green show at Abu Dhabi's World Future Energy summit in support of the global clean-energy movement.

At this year's World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, several of the world's biggest international oil companies put on a brave green show of solidarity with the global clean-energy movement.

This year, ExxonMobil, the world's biggest private-sector oil company, had two stands at the capital's annual showcase of the latest trends and gadgets in the world of renewable and low-carbon energy.

In addition to the company's main stand, featuring information on its joint venture to develop biofuel from algae, it hosted an "energy outlook" forum area featuring presentations on such popular topics as energy efficiency and innovation, as well as advances in carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).

The French energy group Total was also much in evidence, promoting solar ventures, hydrogen systems and biomass projects, among others.

Royal Dutch Shell was there with a demonstration "marathon car", fashioned from lightweight plastic and resembling a futuristic aircraft fuselage on wheels.

In some ways it was a flashback to the "bubble cars" briefly popular in the 1960s.

Occidental Petroleum, the oil and chemicals group based in Los Angeles, was also prominent at the show.

"We are very big in carbon capture and storage," said the Occidental representative manning the stand yesterday, just a day after news had broken that the firm had won an important contract to develop Abu Dhabi's Shah gasfield, strengthening its growing relationship with the emirate's energy sector.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, and Norway's Statoil were among other oil companies at the show keen to talk up CCS.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, on the other hand, highlighted the compressed natural-gas pumps now found at a number of its filling stations, and high-voltage cables incorporating advanced plastics, designed to be buried instead of strung overhead.

The new cables have a lower carbon footprint because they do not need large steel pylons to support them.

Two "Big Oil" companies, however, were notable for their absence from the show. BP, despite being among the main industry sponsors of the summit, did not have an exhibition stand in Abu Dhabi this year. The company is keeping a low profile after its disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year.

Also absent was ConocoPhillips, the US oil company that quit the Shah gas project last year.