Demand for conventional energy such as crude oil will remain strong in the face of development of shale gas and oil shale, the UAE Energy Ministry told MEED’s Iraq Energy Projects conference.

“Demand from crude oil and natural gas is still high – and is still 57 per cent of consumed energy in 2012,” said Suhail Mohammed al-Mazrouei, UAE Energy Minister, in a speech, delivered on his behalf by Rashid Abdullah al-Matroushi, assistant undersecretary of the Energy Ministry, at the MEED event on 26 February.

“[The UAE] is seeking to increase production of crude oil to 3.5 million barrels by 2017. This approach has come after realizing huge demand on energy – in particular [from] emerging economies in Asia,” said Al-Mazrouei.

Al-Mazrouei said that although developing new energy resources, such as shale gas and oil shale, will affect prices, that those concerns are “overestimated – particularly in regard to crude oil.”

Despite demand for conventional energy expected to remain strong, the UAE Energy Minister said that the UAE was committed to developing solar energy as part of its energy diversification laws.