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

  • Quantifying Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 and Oil Price Shocks in a Gulf Oil Economy

    The COVID-19 pandemic had been particularly deleterious on economies that export commodities with volatile prices.  The effects have been visible even in the relatively wealthy yet hydrocarbon-overdependent Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.  Notwithstanding differences among them, GCC states faced adverse effects of the pandemic along with expanded economic stimulus packages and a simultaneous large drop […]

    By: Manal Shehabi

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  • OIES Oil Monthly – Issue 5

    The new issue of OIES Oil Monthly including our latest short-term oil market outlook is now available. This month’s featured In Focus piece focuses on the ongoing talks for the revival of the JCPOA and analyses what lifting the US sanctions means for oil markets. The potential return of Iranian supplies is not expected to […]

    By: OIES

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  • Oxford Energy Forum – Middle East Oil Pricing Systems in Flux – Issue 128

    This issue of the Oxford Energy Forum is devoted to analysing the recent shifts in oil trade flows and the major developments in pricing benchmarks in Middle East crude and products markets. The region is experiencing a series of dramatic structural changes that are transforming crude and products flows, as well as leading to an […]

    By: OIES

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