Oil & the Middle East Research Programme

The Oil and the Middle East Research Programme of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies was established in 2009. It is dedicated to the advanced study of contemporary oil markets, production, consumption and policy. With a historical focus on the resource-rich economies of the Middle East, research on the Programme has expanded to include major non-OPEC producing regions such as North America and Russia, and emerging energy markets such as China and India.

The programme’s research activities centre around its four main thematic branches:

Global Oil Market Dynamics

This research stream encompasses the study of oil price cycles, evolution of pricing benchmarks, behaviour of oil market participants, the impact of new supply sources on market dynamics, producer-consumer relations, and international oil and product trade flows.


Research under this stream relates to the economic prospects for conventional and unconventional production in the world’s major producing economies as well as newly emerging provinces, and includes the Middle East, Africa, North America and Russia. It covers topics such as the evolution of fiscal regimes.

Consumption and the Development of Emerging Energy Markets

The programme’s third main research stream focuses on emerging centres of energy demand outside traditional OECD energy consumers. Research under this stream analyses demand and supply patterns in emerging energy markets, including Russia, India, China, Latin America and Africa.

Policy and the Economics of Resource Rich Economies

The fourth key area of research concentrates on the management of natural resource wealth within resource-rich economies, including resource-based development strategies and economic growth, distribution of natural resource rents, challenges related to domestic demand growth, diversification, and the deployment of renewables.

Research is disseminated via a dedicated research paper series, short energy comments and contributions to academic journals and specialised publications, in addition to a book series published by Oxford University Press. Members of programme staff have also been involved in a range of international collaborative publications, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Energy Forum (IEF). The Programme’s research group is composed of core staff, and draws on a network of external contributors from a wide range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds.

Contact Us
We are interested in hearing from students and researchers working on oil and the Middle East academically worldwide. For information about the programme and questions, please email; Bassam Fattouh

Latest Publications from the Oil & the Middle East Research Programme

  • OIES Oil Monthly – Issue 1

    The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) is very pleased to publish the first issue of its new Oil Monthly. The OIES Oil Monthly contains our short-term oil market outlook including oil price forecasts, the balance of risks surrounding the price forecasts, supply and demand trends and the global oil balance expanding to 2022 based […]

    By: OIES

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  • A Lesson from Physics on Oil Prices: Revisiting the Negative WTI Price Episode

    While the episode of negative WTI price is still being actively debated, its proper root cause is yet to be determined. This Comment contributes to the discussion and studies the event by modifying the theory of storage for an oil market with rigid operational infrastructure, where short-term supply and demand are price inelastic. We found […]

    By: Ilia Bouchouev

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  • Saudi Oil Policy: Continuity and Change in the Era of the Energy Transition

    The crucial position that Saudi Arabia has in global oil markets cannot be overstated. In 2019 its proven crude oil reserves stood at 297.6 billion barrels, representing 17 per cent of the world’s total. In the same year Saudi Arabia produced 11.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) of crude, blended, and unblended condensates, and natural gas […]

    By: Bassam Fattouh

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Latest Ongoing Research from the Oil & the Middle East Research Programme