The following provides summaries of the research in progress by staff of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. The Institute’s unique multidisciplinary expertise allows it to examine the economics, the politics and the sociology of energy with a focus on oil and natural gas.

The specific subjects of research in progress, while set within these broad lines, necessarily reflects the particular research capacities, skills and interests of the research fellows.

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  • Auctions and Pricing for Utilization and sizing of capacity in Distribution Networks

    By: Christine Brandstätt

    With new consumer-bound technologies in distribution grids, the question emerges how to manage distributed loads and capture the potential to optimize utilization and sizing of the grid. Network charges signal network cost to users, but currently mainly serve to finance the infrastructure. The challenge is to guide network users via incentives. The aim of this […]

  • Brave New World: Is Ammonia a Silver Bullet for the Large Scale Electricity Storage Dilemma?”

    By: Aliaksei Patonia

    In the current conditions of constantly growing energy demand, the transition of national energy systems from fossil fuels to electricity is generally viewed as one of the crucial steps towards mitigating climate change through reducing carbon emissions. However, at the current stage of technological development, overall electrification is fraught with difficulties related to the limited […]

  • Murban: a benchmark for Middle East crude?

    By: Bassam Fattouh , Ahmed Mehdi

    The Middle East is one of the largest producers and exporters of crude oil globally. The majority of its oil flows east, into major refining centers located across China, India, Japan and a multitude of other Asian nations. The region’s plentiful and varied production of oil has historically been priced against two similar grades of […]

  • Iraq’s role in global oil markets: an assessment

    By: Ahmed Mehdi

    Over the past decade Iraq has doubled its production capacity to 5m b/d, propelling the country to the status of OPEC’s second largest producer. The launch of a new crude grade – Basra Heavy – in 2015 and the expansion of southern export infrastructure has allowed southern exports to ramp up (with seaborne liftings currently […]

  • China drive for self-sufficiency in petrochemicals and its implications for global petrochemicals

    By: John Richardson

    China is the most important petrochemicals market in the world due to the volume of its demand growth. The scale of consumption is such that today several petrochemicals remain in major deficit in China – such as paraxylene, to make polyester, and styrene, which makes a range of plastics. But because of China’s more vulnerable […]

  • Outlook for China’s gas balances

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s gas demand has surged on the back of the government’s coal-to-gas switching policy, leading China to absorb an incremental 17 bcm of LNG in both 2017 and 2018. While Beijing remains committed to its environmental targets, the economic slowdown is set to adversely impact industry—currently the largest gas consumer in China—reducing industrial users’ gas […]

  • Can Chinese refiners capitalise on IMO 2020?

    By: Michal Meidan

    This paper will analyse the impact of the IMO low sulphur fuel cap, which comes into effect on 1 January 2020, on China’s refining industry, including Chinese refiners’ ability to absorb high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and produce IMO-compliant bunkering fuels. The new IMO regulations aim to cut the sulphur content of marine bunker fuels […]

  • Invention, Innovation and Diffusion in the European Solar Power Sector

    By: Jonas Grafström

    The purpose of this paper is to provide an economic analysis of the technology development patterns in the European solar power sector. The three classic Schumpeterian steps of technological development, invention, innovation and diffusion, are brought together to give a non-linear picture of technological development. An emphasis on public policy is presented in the paper […]

  • Canada’s Trapped Natural Gas: Will the country overcome self-inflicted damage and instill regulatory certainty to become a globally competitive LNG player and an exemplar of environmental stewardship?

    By: Peter Findlay

    Earlier this decade, the future for Canadian LNG looked rather bright. The global demand outlook from burgeoning Asian economies was auspicious, LNG prices were underpinned by sustained high global crude prices, and continued amelioration of shale gas drilling techniques unlocked bountiful reserves of economic natural gas in Canada and the US. Over 20 liquefaction projects […]

  • New Asian LNG Demand Markets

    By: Mike Fulwood , Martin Lambert

    The current and potential rapid growth in Asian LNG demand is not all about China and India. With the traditional markets of Japan, Korea and Taiwan looking at best at slow growth, the new markets are increasingly important targets for existing and new LNG suppliers. This new research will assess the current and projected supply […]

  • A Reliability-Insurance Based Electricity Market: From Theory to Practice

    By: Farhad Billimoria , Rahmat Poudineh

    In a previous publication in October 2018, we introduced a new electricity market design based on reliability insurance that works as an overlay over the existing energy-only electricity markets.  An insurance based market disaggregates energy and reliability and utilises consumer preference and price signal to drive capacity deployment in the power sector.  While conceptually attractive, […]

  • The Future of Networks

    By: Chris N Le Fevre

    The OIES research on decarbonising energy markets has identified particular threats to gas networks from both declining demand for gas and a failure to adapt to new requirements in a low carbon world. Gas networks represent a huge, sunk cost asset and with the right mix of investment and incentives they could play a significant […]