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Rice University
News Release
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Global oil markets and Middle East geopolitics are topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Nov. 14

HOUSTON – Leading experts on global oil markets and Middle East geopolitics will gather at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Nov. 14 for a panel discussion on developments in the region and their impact on markets today and in the future.

The timely discussion will take place two weeks before the 173rd OPEC Meeting in Vienna Nov. 30.

Hosted by the Baker Institute’s
Center for Energy Studies and Chatham House, the event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Who: Panelists
Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute; Paul Stevens, distinguished fellow in energy, environment and resources at Chatham House; and Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute and associate fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House. All panelists are available for interviews in advance of and following the discussion.

What: A luncheon panel discussion titled “Global Oil Markets and the Geopolitics of the Middle East: Where Next?”

When: Tuesday, Nov. 14. Lunch will be served at noon; the discussion will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

Geopolitics in the Middle East is a crucial element of global oil markets. Future production in the region and, therefore, the global supply-demand balance depends on investment by international and national oil companies, according to event organizers. But these capital flows can be complicated by the impact of geopolitics on paper markets beyond what physical market balances would otherwise indicate.

Despite the recent softening of oil markets, geopolitics in the Middle East is a rising area of concern, organizers said. At present, many of the region’s economies are failing to meet the expectations of their growing young populations. Saudi Arabia is facing serious domestic challenges and is attempting fundamental economic reform, which may well challenge the existing order. Iran’s position in the region is uncertain, highlighted by the lack of clarity on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement and how Iran will react to deteriorating relations with the United States. The Gulf Cooperation Council faces serious issues, with the Qatari crisis a centerpiece of the current divisions. In sum, the sources of existing and potential instability are significant and growing, organizers said.

The public must RSVP for the event at A live webcast will be available at the event page.  

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media are advised to park in the Central Campus Garage.

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