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

  • OPEC+ and Short-Term Oil Market Dynamics

    This new OIES presentation looks at the extension of the OPEC+ deal to the end of 2022 and implications on oil markets: Global oil demand has lost some momentum recently, but the fundamentals remain solid where demand is still expected to grow by 5.6 mb/d in 2021 and further 3.3 mb/d in 2022. OPEC+ to […]

    By: Bassam Fattouh Andreas Economou

    Download Publication
  • OIES Oil Monthly – Issue 6

    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 China’s crackdown on the Shandong teapots through the imposition of a consumption tax on blendstocks and tighter scrutiny over import quota trading. The In Focus argues that the crackdown bodes […]

    By: OIES

    Download Publication
  • 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

    Download Publication

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

  • Oil & Gas industry in Brazil: reforms in the energy transition era

    Significant offshore oil and gas discoveries have confirmed Brazil’s status as one of the world’s major oil and gas provinces. This status results from the development of pre-salt projects, which has strengthened Brazil’s leadership in developing deep-water and ultra-deep-water projects. The Brazilian state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, increased its investments substantially in the upstream sector to […]

    By: Larissa Hallack

  • The viability of changing the energy mix in Kuwaiti electricity production: A fiscal assessment

    In an effort to increase oil export revenue and to meet local electricity demands, the Kuwaiti government is planning to replace the majority of crude and petroleum products with imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) in its power generation by 2030.  The basic motivation for this plan is that it will enable freeing crude and petroleum […]

    By: Manal Shehabi