ABU DHABI / WAM
Collaboration between the United States and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), is “not on the cards,” according to Francis R. Fannon, US Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources at the US Department of State.
In an interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM), Fannon said the “US presence on the energy market with this scale is changing the conversation,” referring to the transformation of the US energy landscape.
“The US government does not control where energy goes. That is up to the buyer and the seller. We don’t determine where energy goes. It is up to the company and country,” he said.
“We found through my discussions with ministers from around the world that it is great to create new opportunities for energy trading relationship and for energy security and resilience, and in fact for lower costs for consumers,” Fannon further added.
“[The US aims to] leverage energy resource abundance to catalyse new regional cooperation for shared development and growth on the basis of emerging international energy markets.”
On the progress of the Middle East Strategic Alliance (Mesa), the US official who is currently in Abu Dhabi expressed his country’s willingness to create a broader opportunity to build on the success achieved by the Alliance in order to have a “greater degree of partnership and collaboration in the entire region.”
“My presence at ADIPEC [Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference] is a reflection of the US commitment to the region and recognition of the role played by energy in ensuring political security,” Fannon said.
“We are working for partnerships in a variety of areas. We have seen the companies of the region working on transformation plans that illustrate the global connectedness of energy.
“All the countries of the region [GCC] have their own energy transformation plans on where they want to get over the next 10 to 20 years. There are certain commonalities between these domestic programmes. What we are doing is seeking to identify these commonalities to facilitate win-win opportunities from which all can benefit in a consistent way with their domestic agendas,” he added.
He also said the GCC countries are “making a very good job in broadening the idea of energy collaboration, improving the resilience of the regional actors in the energy space.”
“The US is looking forward to a broader opportunity to facilitate similar partnerships across the region and to have a greater degree of collaboration among the GCC states as well as Jordan,” he added.
Fannon visited Sub-Saharan Africa from 2nd to 9th November, including South Africa, Namibia and Botswana to share the United States’ vision for a new era of energy partnerships based on mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities.
He held a roundtable earlier today at ADIPEC’s Media Village where he spoke about the US foreign policy implications of transitioning from the age of energy scarcity to partnerships that optimise energy resource abundance.