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OPL Experts Meet Again Face-to-Face To Discuss Lessons Learnt and Trends Ahead

The UAE Singapore Business Council (UAESBC), in collaboration with the UAE Embassy in Singapore, organised our annual flagship event, the Oil, Petrochemical and Logistics (OPL) Seminar on Wednesday, 17th August 2022. Speakers and panelists representing key players in the industry shared valuable insights and perspectives on the challenges and trends with the attendees at the Suntec City Convention Centre.

The Council was honoured to host Singapore Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Alvin Tan, as the Guest of Honour who gave the Opening Address. Other VIPs include the UAE Embassy's Charge D'affaires ad interim: His Excellency Shaikh Saleh Saif Al Sharqi who gave the Welcome Remarks, and Mr Lee Yi Shyan, former Singapore Senior Minister for Trade Industry who is currently Chairman of Business China and Patron of the UAESBC.

In his Opening Address, MOS Alvin Tan said "despite the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, bilateral trade between the UAE and Singapore recovered quickly from the pandemic and grew by more than 70% year-on-year in 2021" and "Petroleum oils and crude oils continue to form the bulk of imports from the UAE to Singapore."

The first speaker of the day was Mr Glenn Wepener, Executive Director and Chief Strategist of First Abi Dhabi Bank, the UAE's largest bank. Glenn's presentation included his perspectives and analysis on the future trends in the global energy markets and the geo-political factors of relevance to the sector to look out for. Glenn also mentioned that his forecast for oil next year was pegged at US$97 a barrel, taking into account that there could be a recession in Europe and probably the United States - albeit a mild one - while adding that the US Federal Reserve would likely soften its rate outlook towards the end of 2023.

Our second presenter was Mr Youssef Taha, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Innovation of Borouge, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s major oil and gas companies owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and Austria based Borealis​, the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics. Youssef highlighted the main challenges facing the petrochemical industry and expanded the impact of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and Sustainability. He also emphasized on the importance of digitization and collaboration in all processes in order to meet and exceed the high expectations of the current informed customers.

Our third expert at the OPL2022 seminar was Mr Wilson Vaz, Senior Director - International Supply & Trading for ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company). A seasoned energy trader, Wilson presented on the volatility of the oil markets across the pre and post pandemic period and also explained the five major types of risk management that all oil traders must consider namely: market, credit, basis, compliance and counter party. He also shared on the potential growth markets in energy trading which include Carbon Credit Trading, Hydrogen, Negative Emission Technology, Renewable Energy, Electronic Vehicle infrastructure and carbon capture utilisation and storage.

The seminar rounded off with a panel discussion featuring key Singapore companies in the oil logistics sector namely PEC Ltd, Rotary Engineering and Horizon Singapore Terminals moderated by UAESBC President Dr Brian Shegar. The panellists touched on various challenges they faced during the thick of the pandemic period and reflected on the usage of innovations they have had to utilise to overcome them.

The event was attended by about 100 attendees and was reported in a Straits Times article published on 18th August. MOS Alvin Tan also featured the event on his LinkedIN and Facebook Page below.

*OPL 2022 is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the following UAESBC Members:

Below are photographs captured last Wednesday at our first face-to-face OPL seminar since 2019!

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