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OPEC bulletin 2/18

platform upon which many other sectors operate. Facilitated by the

well-known Becky Anderson, Managing Editor and Anchor at CNN

Abu Dhabi, and the Atlantic Council’s President and CEO, Frederick

Kempe, the session explored how such electrification can play out

in different countries and what the implications might be for energy

security and governance. The keynote for that session was given by

Fatih Birol, whowas joined byMinister Mazrouei and Dr Thani Ahmed

Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE.

There were also sessions on industry “best practices and

business models”, nuclear energy and even a country-focused

session on the future of the oil and gas sector of Iraq. The coun-

try, which has been struggling to get back to former levels of

production and stability, has taken important steps to increase

its oil production despite many challenges. Several prominent

Iraqi officials served on the panel, including Luay Al Khateeb,

Executive Director of the Iraq Energy Institute, and Jabbar Ali

Hussein Al-Luiebi, Minister of Oil of the Republic of Iraq. The

consensus was that with the right support and partnerships

continuing, the country could once more play a huge role in gas

and oil — and in securing a more stable and prosperous energy

future. Already there has been progress: “The industry is moving

very fast and the country is now nearing production capacity of

five million barrels per day,” Al-Luiebi said.

Separately, Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, one of the

oldest private oil and gas companies in the Middle East, said his

UAE-based company has already invested close to $2.5 billion in

Iraq in the last decade — half of it in oil and gas — from the north-

ern regions to the port of Basra in the south. He also noted the

country remains vastly underexplored and that only a few thousand

wells have been drilled in the country’s entire history, compared

to ten times that much in nearby Saudi Arabia and well over a mil-

lion wells in the state of Texas. “Over 300 oil structures in Iraq’s

Western Desert have never even been drilled,” he noted.

A borderless think tank

The Global Energy Forum closed on Saturday night with a Leaders

Council Dinner under the theme ‘Energy investment and diversifi-

cation strategies’. The dinner, which was by invitation only, brought

together the top leaders of the energy world for additional fellow-

ship, and frank and open discussions about some of the biggest

challenges facing exploration, production, transportation, the envi-

ronment, public policies, technology and investments.

For those who attended, it was an opportunity to really exchange

ideas and perspectives with people whomight otherwise be limited

by their academic profiles or their professional obligations. To not

only share experiences but to compare notes from the field, while

also bringing to bear the unique analytical perspectives of some

of the smartest people in the industry, in government, and in aca-

demia, is a rare treat.

In this, the Atlantic Council seems to outperform so many other

organizations and, with the Global Energy Forum, it seems to have

carved out for itself a unique place as a kind of roving think tank.

Though based inWashington, DC, it functions as an intellectual clear-

inghouse — a borderless think tank — bringing together all relevant

actors for an intense two days. May it continue to prosper.

Delegates gather

for a group

photograph at

the 2018 Global

Energy Forum.