Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman has embarked upon a program of reform and self-redefinition that if successful will in less than a generation change it beyond recognition. Other GCC member countries are pursuing reform agendas that are equally if not more ambitious in their own right. In part, these programs reflect the dramatic changes that have swept through the Middle East and the broader oil market since the beginning of the oil price collapse in June 2014. Political and social turmoil in the MENA, from Libya and Yemen to Iraq and Syria, adds extra urgency to the challenge of dealing with lower oil prices and the transformative impact of shale oil supply.
Perhaps no region matters more to the oil and broader energy markets than the GCC group of countries. Understanding the drivers of the region’s reform movement, assessing its chances of success and the potential impact of both success and failure on the region’s stability and oil industry dynamics, has become a pressing if daunting challenge for oil market analysts and anyone with an interest in the energy industry and energy markets.
The conversation featured a distinguished set of experts:
- Ed Morse, Citigroup
- Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences
- Dr. Steffen Hertog, London School of Economics
- Dr. Bernard Haykel, Princeton University
- Dr. Joseph Westphal, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
- Jason Bordoff, Professor of Professional Practice and Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, SIPA (moderator)