The United Arab Emirates is making a push to be a major player in the downstream oil market, says Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
"ADNOC continues to be focused on upstream, yet this time around ADNOC will expand its business focus into downstream by creating many multi-billion dollar opportunities in the downstream. We see a huge growth opportunity in the downstream market," Al Jaber told CNBC's Hadley Gamble during an investment forum hosted by the company in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The downstream sector refers to processes further down in the petroleum supply chain, specifically oil refining and petrochemical plants, products distributors, retail outlets and gas distribution companies. Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates have traditionally been dominant in the upstream sector, which covers the exploration, extraction and production of crude oil and natural gas.
The state-owned oil company of United Arab Emirates, ADNOC, is the world's 12th-largest oil company by production, and has more than 55,000 employees. It's estimated that the UAE holds approximately 6 percent of the world's crude oil reserves.
"This is a natural extension for Abu Dhabi's engagement in the oil and gas sector," the CEO said.
"Now it is time that we expand our portfolio significantly, and the way we are going do this is going to be very smart, centered around establishing long-term strategic partnerships."
"And we are in the business of value maximization, by going further and downstream we will help stretch the dollar further from every barrel we produce, and this is exactly what we aim to achieve," he added.