Oil Research Programme

The Oil 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 Research Programme

  • OIES Oil Monthly – Issue 17

    The new issue of OIES Oil Monthly, including our latest short-term oil market outlook to 2023, is now available. – The resilience of Russian production so far and ability of Russian producers to divert large volumes of crude from Europe to other markets have led us to revise down the size of the expected disruptions […]

    By: OIES

  • OIES Podcast – The Brent Benchmark – Where Do We Stand?

    The introduction of the WTI Midland crude oil into the ‘Brent’ benchmark has caused a fair amount of controversy, debate, and argument. In this podcast David Ledesma discussed this subject with Adi Imsirovic and Kurt Chapman addressing how the industry seems to be gradually reaching a consensus regarding the broad format of the new benchmark: […]

    By: OIES

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  • Oil market volatility: Assessing the bullish and bearish narratives

    Volatility has been the name of the game in oil markets where we have recently seen some very sharp movements in oil prices and spreads. This reflects the high degree of uncertainty surrounding the oil market both on the supply and the demand side, but also lower liquidity which is amplifying some of these price […]

    By: Bassam Fattouh Andreas Economou

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