Energy Comments Publications

OIES researchers publish in peer-reviewed academic journals as well as producing or authoring policy briefs, technical reports, and op-eds. Below is a selection of non-OIES publications by OIES staff.

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  • The coronavirus: petrochemicals’ perfect storm

    By: John Richardson

    Markets continue to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on China’s economic growth and demand for commodities. But given that China is now at the heart of global manufacturing supply chains—which in turn fuel demand for petrochemicals—the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing collapse in economic activity are weighing on both a large importer […]

  • When China sneezes…

    By: Michal Meidan

    2020 looked to be off to a good start for China. But as the Year of the Pig ended, celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rat were marred by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Beijing’s efforts to control the spread of the virus are set to weigh on economic activity as well […]

  • The Soleimani Effect: A Game-Changer for Iraqi Crude Dynamics?

    By: Ahmed Mehdi

    With the market having shrugged off the latest escalation between the United States and Iran, some of the aftershocks of recent events have heightened the risk of future US-Iran rivalry playing out in Iraq – OPEC’s second largest producer and a key source of oil supply growth out to 2030. Next month’s decision by Washington […]

  • Four misconceptions about China’s oil demand in 2019

    By: Michal Meidan

    In 2019, markets were bracing for a slowdown in China’s oil product demand growth, but grappling to quantify it given the uncertainty surrounding the US-China trade negotiations. At the same time, with the start of two new mega-refineries, markets were expecting strong crude demand, alongside a deluge of product output and exports. In this comment, […]

  • The Dilemma Continues: OPEC choices amid high uncertainty

    By: Bassam Fattouh , Andreas Economou

    OPEC is faced with a wide range of uncertainties, which are perhaps best reflected in the gulf in narratives between the bulls and the bears. For the bulls, OPEC is in a strong position: the declines in non-OPEC supply are structural while the slowdown in global economic growth is temporary. Based on this view, a […]

  • Saudi Arabia’s Oil Productive Capacity – The Trade-Offs

    By: Bassam Fattouh , Andreas Economou

    In a series of recent speeches and interviews, a consistent message coming from Saudi Aramco is that ‘future profit growth will be more from diversification into integrated oil refining and petrochemicals, besides natural gas production and supply for both the domestic and international markets’. But what about opportunities in the upstream oil sector and the […]

  • Could we see $2 gas in Europe in 2020?

    By: Mike Fulwood

    Europe has long been regarded as the balancing market for global LNG and has performed this function extremely well in the last twelve months, with total imports of 105 bcm – a 75 per cent rise year on year. In this period spot prices collapsed averaging less than $4 in the third quarter of this […]

  • Sanctions, Shipping, and Oil Markets

    By: Adi Imsirovic , Michal Meidan

    In just over a week, the theoretical cost of taking a barrel of oil from the Gulf to Asia, in the cheapest possible way, rose by $6 per barrel. At a time when refinery margins are in single digits, this is a major blow to refinery profitability. The US administration’s decision to sanction two subsidiaries […]

  • China’s energy security at 70

    By: Michal Meidan

    As China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1 October 2019, it seems to have gone full circle back to its 1949 assessments of the US: “a greedy and violent nation, struggling to remain the wealthiest and strongest on earth”. For the first two decades of […]

  • Murban: A benchmark for the Middle East?

    By: Ahmed Mehdi , Eesha Muneeb , Adi Imsirovic , Bassam Fattouh

    The need for a new marker for East of Suez crude oil pricing has dominated debate in oil trading circles over the past several years. The latest opening salvo has been launched by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), currently in the process of laying out a roadmap to launch a light crude reference marker […]

  • Glimpses of China’s energy future

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s largest oil and gas major, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), released its 2050 outlook in late August. This coincides with preliminary work currently being undertaken by domestic think tanks, state-owned enterprises, and ministries ahead of the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP, which will run from 2021 to 2025). While the CNPC report is by no […]

  • The Future of Gas Networks – Key Issues for Debate

    By: Chris N Le Fevre

    The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies held a Work​shop on “The Future of Gas Networks” to examine decarbonisation plans and the impact of the potential growth in the use of renewable and decarbonised gases in Europe. Participants included representatives from nine European gas network companies (both transmission and distribution), technical experts in decarbonisation, regulators, government […]