U.A.E. Won't Let Falling Oil Prices Disrupt Energy Investments

  • Oil-production capacity of 3.5 million barrels a day is goal
  • $35 billion of investments planned for non-oil projects

The United Arab Emirates, the fourth-biggest OPEC producer, is sticking with investment projects to boost energy output even after the plunge in oil prices in the past year.

“Investments are ongoing, we are a mature producer,” Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told reporters Sunday at a conference in Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E.’s capital and largest emirate. The U.A.E. has said it plans to boost oil-production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2019. It pumped 2.9 million barrels a day in September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent crude has slumped 48 percent in the past 12 months, threatening $1.5 trillion in North American energy investments, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries led by Saudi Arabia has increased output, signaling its readiness to let prices fall to a level that slows output from high-cost producers such as some U.S. shale companies.

The U.A.E. will spend $35 billion by 2021 to expand non-oil energy assets, including nuclear power and solar, Mazrouei said. The nation aims to reduce its reliance on natural gas for power, while still boosting imports of the fuel, he said.

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