Oil & the Middle East Programme

Oil & the Middle East Programme

The Oil and the Middle East 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.

Production

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.

Latest Publications from the Oil & the Middle East Programme

  • The IPO of Saudi Aramco: Some Fundamental Questions

    In the last few months, there has been a flurry of articles about the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco. While such articles offer a fresh perspective on the complexities involved in the IPO of Saudi Aramco, key issues are still missing in the debate. This short paper tries to fill some of these […]

    By: Bassam Fattouh Laurence Harris

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  • Oil Benchmarks: what next?

    For the trading community, 2017’s ‘IP week’ in London (20-23 February) was not just concerned with the forecast level of crude oil prices, but about how those prices are expressed, assessed ​and reported. Once again the security of international oil price benchmarks is a significant cause for concern.  In this comment, Liz Bossley argues that […]

    By: Liz Bossley

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  • Russian Oil Production Outlook to 2020

    This paper, carried out as a joint piece of research by OIES and ERI RAS (the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) assesses the prospects for Russian oil production to 2020 and beyond, and suggests that the history of steady growth seen over the past decade is set to continue. Brownfield decline […]

    By: James Henderson Ekaterina Grushevenko

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Latest research from the Oil & the Middle East Programme

  • China’s independent refiners

    China’s independent ‘teapot’ refiners have wreaked havoc on the global oil market since they began receiving quotas to import and run crude oil in July 2015. Their crude imports, reaching over 1 mb/d, have accounted for the vast majority of China’s incremental buying in 2016, tapping into a wide variety of suppliers and tweaking crude […]

    By: Michal Meidan

  • Japanese Upstream Oil Investment Strategies – A Case Study of the Gulf

    The research paper discusses the structure of the Japanese upstream oil industry, investment strategies of Japanese market players and attempts to acquire concessions through case studies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran and Iraq. Japan is the 4th largest importer of oil in the world and more than 80% of the 3,37 MMbpd (2015) were […]

    By: Loftur Thorarinsson

  • Ethiopia and frontier markets on the Horn of Africa

    Ethiopia has emerged to become one of the economic powerhouses in Africa with overall growth rates averaging around ten per cent in the past decade. As a growing political, economic, and transportation hub, it is rivalling neighbouring Kenya in Eastern Africa and provides investors on the Horn of Africa with a more stable business climate […]

    By: Tim Steinecke

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;

Anupama Sen

Short Term Visiting Research Fellowship

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) invites applications for Short-Term Visiting Research Fellowships to work on self-directed studies on the energy policy, energy economics and the political economy of energy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The Fellowship aims to enable academics, researchers and practitioners to spend a period of time conducting specific research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. The appointment is for a period of up to six months during which time a pre-agreed project will be completed by the Visiting Research Fellow. For further details please click the following link; Visiting Research Fellow GCC Energy – further particulars

Latest Tweets from @OxfordEnergy

  • New publication: The EU Competition Investigation into Gazprom’s Sales to Central and Eastern Europe: a comment on c https://t.co/JSfMhZFFjF

    April 21st

  • B Fattouh presents on transformations in producer-consumer relations & implications for Middle East oil exporters,… https://t.co/JE4KURO5P6

    April 20th

  • A new issue of the Oxford Energy Forum on energy pricing reform in the Middle East and North Africa https://t.co/avCjvpieZ1

    April 20th

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