Since its establishment in 1994, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) has issued major publications related to the oil and gas industry in the Middle East and worldwide. “Gulf Oil and Gas: Ensuring Economic Security” is one of ECSSR most recent publications tackling the challenges in the oil and gas sector, which is endangering the economy in the Gulf.
A variety of topics assembling the different points of view of international experts concerning economic security were discussed in this publication, which covers the ECSSR 11th Annual Energy Conference, Gulf Oil and Gas: Ensuring Economic Security, held in September 2005, in Abu Dhabi.
This report discusses crucial energy developments and outlines strategies for the Arabian Gulf states to strengthen their future economic security.
Since the economy of the Gulf area has been greatly depending on its energy wealth—particularly on its rich oil and gas resources—any factors, such as drops in supply and/or demand, current tensions in the area, energy prices, etc., are very likely to jeopardize the economic security of the area. Thus, the book investigates several questions in order to analyze these factors. Some of the questions tackled by the publication include: what long-term production strategy should the Gulf OPEC members adopt? Can Gulf oil producers allay the supply security concerns of major consumer nations? How will limitations in crude quality and constraints in refining capacity impact on global energy markets? How can OPEC maintain reasonable oil prices in the face of exhaustible oil supplies and inexhaustible global demand? How will growing non-OPEC production affect OPEC’s predominant market position in the future?
Other various vital energy issues were also addressed in “Gulf Oil and Gas: Ensuring Economic Security.” Among these issues are the globalization of the gas trade, trends in crude quality; cooperation between consumers and producers; links between national and foreign oil companies; future demand for Gulf energy; prospects for augmented Gulf production; sustainability of Saudi Arabia’s excess capacity; concerns over oilfield security; imperatives for attracting investment and the need for additional oil refining capacity. For the Gulf producers, ensuring economic security means going beyond petroleum resource management to formulating policies leading to diversified national development and greater economic cohesion while safeguarding the region’s strategic position in an integrated world economy.
The list of contributors hosts international experts recognized for their outstanding research and contribution to the oil and gas sector.
Starting with the first chapter about oil prices and economic security, Dr. Herman T. Franssen, President of International Energy Associates Inc. and Director of Petroleum Economics Ltd. (PEL) in London, highlights the challenges resulting from the fluctuation of oil prices and its effects on producers. While Tarek M. Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government and former Assistant Professor of Economics and Shaikh Al-Sabah Chair in Arab Studies in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, shed light on the concept of Globalization and how it combines the whole world in one large economy, where all countries are effected.
The chapter ends with a discussion of oil boom and oil curse analyzed by Hess Energy Trading Co., LLC (HETCO).
Industry trends and prospects compose the second chapter of this book, in which two major topics are undertaken. The first focuses on the refining challenges in the region. Pedro Antonio Merino Garcia, Director of the Economic Studies Department at the Spanish energy company Repsol YPF draws a scheme starting from crude oil quality availability to clean product demand to illustrate these challenges. As for the second topic, Jean Pierre Favennec, Director of the Centre for Economics and Management at the IFP (Ecole du Petrole et des Moteurs) School investigates the potentials and risks facing foreign oil companies when investing in the Gulf region.

The last two chapters highlight readers’ concerns over the supply security and the future demand for Gulf Oil. Among the discussed subjects are the importance of the Gulf in US oil and gas requirements, the role of the Gulf in supplying oil for the Asian-Pacific region and the Gulf Oil in a Global Context: strategies for and challenges to demand security.

By Yomna Bassiouni

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