The GCC countries are among the world leading oil and gas producing and exporting countries. The EU is seeking to establish a long term strategic relationship with the GCC countries. Current relations are based on a Cooperation Agreement dating from 1988, putting into place a regular high level framework of dialogue, which aims at broadening economic and technical cooperation as well as cooperation in a variety of fields of strategic importance, including energy, industry, investment, science, technology and environment.
Currently there are several fields of clean energy in which the EU and the GCC have common interest. These include renewable energy (predominantly solar), for which interest has been growing fast in various GCC countries; Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies, which reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG) whilst also enhancing oil recovery; technologies related to gas transportation as LNG or CNG, as well as gas transformation of gas into clean liquid fuels and other petrochemical derivatives; and Demand Side Management in electricity as well as regional integration of electricity systems, to secure electricity supply on the face of rapidly rising demand. The EU, as the world’s major importer of hydrocarbons and the leading world proponent of climate change prevention, has a well founded interest to cooperate with the GCC countries and support them in successfully addressing clean energy issues.