Raymond Karam

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Iraq Moves to Tackle Climate Challenge

Iraq is stepping up efforts to reduce flared gas as the first solar power plant moves forward with France’s TotalEnergies.

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IEA Cuts Oil Demand Forecast for 2024 but OPEC Remains Bullish

While geopolitical tensions have the oil market “on edge,” the IEA expects a well-supplied market amid weaker demand.

2024 Outlook

On January 9, AGSIW hosted a virtual roundtable with its leadership and scholars as they looked ahead and assessed trends likely to shape the Gulf region and U.S. foreign policy during the coming year.

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A Warm December as COP28 Gets Underway in Dubai

While not short on ambition in its energy diversification policy, the UAE faces a particular set of challenges along the pathway to carbon neutrality.

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OPEC and IEA at Odds Over Long-Term Oil Demand Outlook

The divergence between the IEA and OPEC outlooks is largely due to assumptions regarding the speed at which internal combustion engine vehicles will be replaced by electric vehicles.

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Event Report – Petro Diplomacy: The Energy Transition and the Road to COP28

AGSIW's ninth annual Petro Diplomacy conference examined how the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are managing the energy transition and expectations for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, in Dubai beginning in November.

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Gulf Countries Explore Water Solutions to Mitigate Impacts of Climate Change

The wide-ranging effects of water scarcity in the Gulf are likely to get worse without accelerated mitigation and adaptation measures.

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The Energy Transition and the Road to COP28

The UAE will need to find common ground to make COP28 a success because time and the Middle East’s remaining carbon budget are running out.

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Solar and Wind Energy Driving the Middle East’s Energy Transition

If Middle Eastern countries are to reduce carbon emissions and reach their net-zero targets, solar and wind energy must be scaled up to provide zero-carbon energy and displace natural gas.

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U.N. Climate Report Sounds Alarm Ahead of COP28 in the UAE

As an oil producer seeking to lead the fight against climate change, the United Arab Emirates will have the difficult task of combining its dual roles and finding common ground to make COP28 a success.

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Oil Markets Stable but Chinese Demand Surge and Russian Output Cut Pose Risks

Whether oil supply will match an anticipated demand surge hinges on Russia’s response to sanctions and OPEC+ output policy.

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IEA Projects Record Oil Demand in 2023, but Russia and China are Key

Oil market reports highlight uncertainties relating to the speed of the recovery in China and the impact of sanctions on Russian oil exports.

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OPEC+ Stays Put as Russia Oil Price Cap and EU Embargo Come Into Force

The oil market is showing concerns over weakening oil demand, and new Western sanctions on Russia have introduced an added element of uncertainty in a market already reeling from the repercussions of the Ukraine crisis.

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Event Report – Petro Diplomacy: Gulf Countries on the Front Line of Energy Security

The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington's eighth annual Petro Diplomacy conference examined the upheaval in the oil and gas markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the role of Gulf Arab oil producing states in meeting the sudden demand surge.

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Gulf Countries on the Front Line of Energy Security

The conflict in Ukraine has brought about a change in the psychology and geography of the oil and gas markets, and the ramifications will be felt across the energy complex for years.

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Oil Price Rally Resumes After Biden Leaves Saudi Arabia

The U.S. president got promises but no firm commitments on an oil production increase during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

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OPEC+ Producers Move to Ease Supply Crunch, but the Market Still Wants More

The alliance of producers is hastening the timetable to restore barrels of oil to the market in a deft diplomatic maneuver that has been welcomed by Washington and Moscow.

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Internal Squabbles, Legal Challenges, and Muddled Policy Impede Kurdish Gas Exports

Europe is desperately seeking alternatives to Russian gas, but the Kurdistan Regional Government has some way to go before it can produce excess gas for exportation.

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U.S. Steals OPEC+ Thunder With Historic Emergency Oil Stock Release

The war in Ukraine has brought about a change of direction and exposed the vulnerabilities of an energy world in transition.

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Oil and Gas Prices Surge in Highly Volatile Market as Russia is Isolated

Should more countries follow the EU’s lead and step up efforts to seek alternative supplies of oil and gas, Russia could find itself out in the cold, whether it wins or loses the war against Ukraine.

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Oil Market Recovery Underway at the Start of 2022 But Volatility Looms Ahead

With oil prices above $80 per barrel, OPEC and its Russian-led allies are optimistic about the future, but geopolitical developments threaten to throw the market off-kilter.

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Gulf Countries Gear Up for a Net-Zero World

Energy transitions are by their nature disruptive, but the pandemic has introduced a risk factor that might play out for years to come.

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Iraq Secures Largest Foreign Investment in Two Decades With TotalEnergies Deal

The TotalEnergies deal with Iraq includes clean energy aspects that are a step in the right direction for the country to develop a more sustainable economy, but the focus is still on oil and gas.

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OPEC+ Contends With Conflicting Signals as Coronavirus Threat Persists

Uncertainty hangs over energy markets as Washington calls on OPEC+ to open the taps, and the IEA warns of coming oil supply surplus.

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Saudi-Emirati Rift Over Oil Policy Scuttles OPEC+ Deal

An OPEC+ deal, which was close to being within reach, collapsed over a dispute between the two Gulf allies, jeopardizing the interests of all constituents and leaving consumers at the mercy of market volatility.

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Iraq Steps Up Solar Energy Plans With 2 GW Award to the UAE

Iraq’s deal with Masdar offers hope for Baghdad’s renewable energy agenda and for alleviating electricity shortages that have long plagued the country.

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OPEC+ Holds Course on Output as IEA Calls Time Out on Oil

OPEC and its Russian-led allies stick to their planned oil production strategy, issuing words of caution regarding the strength of the demand recovery.

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OPEC and the IEA Expect Strong Oil Demand Recovery Despite Faltering India

Oil prices shrugged off concerns over India, topping $70 per barrel for benchmark Brent crude in response to improved market fundamentals and drawdowns in global oil inventories.

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Qatar Petroleum Comes of Age as it Assumes Sole LNG Ownership

After more than 25 years of working alongside international oil company giants, Qatar Petroleum has the technical capability and expertise to manage its own gas business. But it is unlikely to end all its partnerships.

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OPEC+ Oil Producers Hold Course as Demand Worries Persist

Saudi Arabia and Russia appear to be on the same page now, but OPEC+ will have to consider the impacts of its market management policies if it wants to avoid the pitfalls that have contributed to oil price volatility in the past.

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Oil Price Recovery Reverses 2020 Losses as OPEC+ Stays the Course

OPEC+ producers seem to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, but as maintaining production cuts becomes more difficult for the smaller producers, they may be tempted to cash in while prices are high.

2021 Outlook

AGSIW hosted a virtual private roundtable with its leadership and scholars as they looked ahead to assess trends likely to shape the Gulf region during the coming year.

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Saudi Arabia Delivers Shock to Market With Surprise Oil Output Cut

The new variant of the coronavirus, new lockdowns in several parts of the world, and the slower-than-expected rollout of the vaccine cast doubt on the timing of a recovery that would sustain higher production.

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OPEC+ Plays It Safe With Small Output Adjustment

The OPEC+ alliance managed to stamp out dissent within its ranks and come to a compromise deal that will keep the market guessing in the months ahead.

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Cracks Showing in OPEC+ Alliance as Ministerial Meeting Approaches

Signs of strain within OPEC could reflect negatively on the market by casting doubt on the commitment of OPEC+ countries to adhere to production targets.

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Coronavirus and Climate Agenda Complicate Outlook for Oil Demand Growth

The coronavirus pandemic has altered perceptions as to the direction of energy demand growth and more weight has been given to the net-zero commitments by major consuming countries and how these will shape the energy system in the decades ahead.

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Coincidence of Coronavirus, Climate Crises Accelerates Major Shifts in Oil and Gas Industries

Regardless of what shape the post-pandemic recovery takes, the crisis may have a far-reaching impact on future demand for fossil fuels.

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Looming Peak Oil Demand Triggers Gulf Race for Natural Gas

The dash for gas will have ramifications for economic and energy models of the region’s petrostates for years to come as environmental pressures mount within the region and beyond.

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Apicorp Report: W-Shaped Recovery for MENA as Energy Investments Plunge

A protracted slump in upstream oil and gas investment may result in the undesirable return of price volatility and market imbalance.

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Iraq’s Electricity Challenges Mount as Oil Revenue Slows to a Trickle

It will take time for the new Iraqi government to formulate its energy policies amid an unprecedented health and economic crisis. But the electricity sector is among the most in need of new investment and rehabilitation.

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Amid a Pandemic, a Global Oil Alliance Emerges

The dramatic crash in oil prices has led the global energy community to coordinate production cuts to stabilize market conditions.

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Saudi Arabia Races to Boost Output as it Takes on Russian and U.S. Oil

Saudi Arabia’s decision to proceed with plans to ramp up its oil production capacity despite collapsing demand during a global health crisis may seem rash. But is it?

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Uncertainty Hits Oil Market Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

OPEC and non-OPEC ministers head into tough negotiations over potential further production cuts amid a whirlwind of negative signals from the market as oil prices decline and demand has been slashed.

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Fears of Diminished Demand Eclipse Global Energy Markets’ Concerns Over Reduced Supply

Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in China, the world’s largest oil importing country, pushed down oil prices, while the market failed to react to a near collapse in Libyan oil production, the continued absence of Iranian barrels, and other disruptions.

2020 Vision: AGSIW Assesses Threats and Opportunities in the Gulf

On January 8, AGSIW hosted a conversation considering the trends likely to shape the Gulf region in 2020.

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OPEC Burns the Midnight Oil as Saudi Arabia Asserts Its Leadership

The OPEC+ group has agreed on deeper production cuts, but the next few weeks and months will show whether they have done enough to balance the market.

UAE Security Forum 2019: Reshaping the Future of the Horn of Africa

For the fourth consecutive year, AGSIW convened the UAE Security Forum, where U.S., UAE, and regional partners gathered to find creative solutions to some of the region’s most pressing challenges.

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Oman: A Small Oil Player with Big Ambitions

With a stable political regime, strategic location, and attractive commercial terms, Oman has managed to raise oil production to record levels and draw in foreign oil majors.

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Challenges to the Energy Transition in the Gulf Countries

The energy world is entering an era of disruption, where traditional methods of extracting, using, and trading energy are changing rapidly and where old rules no longer apply.

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Oil Producers Formalize Alliance and Prepare to Stare Down Shale Oil

OPEC appears to be stuck in a vicious cycle of cutting production only to see its share of the market filled by the United States and other, higher-cost producers that are not bound by the production restraints of the OPEC+ agreement.

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Iraq Looks Forward to Energy Independence

Iraq aims to grow its oil and gas production capacity to meet its domestic needs, but this will take time, a commodity the country can ill afford.

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Oil Market Shrugs Off Attacks on Oil Tankers

The oil market has had a somewhat muted reaction to recent attacks on oil tankers, appearing to have set aside concerns about the diplomatic storm brewing in the Middle East and instead focusing on the latest oil demand projections.

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Oil on Troubled Waters in the Middle East after Tanker Attacks

The potential disappearance of some 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil, the continued decline in Venezuela’s production, and other geopolitical disruptions make for a tight market that can ill afford any further losses.

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Back to Zero: U.S. Scraps Iran Sanctions Waivers

The end to oil-import waivers comes just as OPEC and its allies were starting to enjoy the fruits of their oil production cut agreement, and the fallout from the policy to drive Iranian exports down to zero is already being felt in the volatile oil market.

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Kuwait’s Energy Industry Suffering from Ministerial Musical Chairs

Kuwait is struggling to increase oil production capacity. To put the country on a path toward a more sustainable energy future, Kuwait needs stability between its two branches of government and continuity in the energy sector.

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Oil Price Recovery Gives OPEC and Allies Some Breathing Space

The recent rise in oil prices takes some pressure off OPEC and its non-OPEC allies. However Saudi Arabia seems to want a deeper drawdown in global inventories before deciding whether to loosen output restrictions.

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ADNOC Repositions Itself to Challenge International Oil Majors

ADNOC CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is overseeing an aggressive policy of partial privatization and has brought in new strategic partners to better serve the company’s international operations and export markets.

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IEA Outlook: U.S. Oil Exports Will Approach Saudi Levels by 2024

The International Energy Agency’s Oil 2019 medium-term outlook sees strong growth in U.S., Iraqi, and Emirati oil production, while Saudi Arabia focuses on maintaining current capacity.

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Burning the Midnight Oil to Keep the Lights On

The Gulf is extremely vulnerable to climate change and the clock is ticking to keep the lights and air conditioners on without causing harm to their already fragile environment.

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BP Flags the Role of New Energy Kids on the Block

The energy system is undergoing a radical shift away from fossil fuels in a world where oil is no longer king. However, to meet demand growth, oil and gas will remain key components of the energy mix for decades to come.

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Saudi Arabia Silences Doubters with New Oil Reserve Estimate

With Saudi Arabia's now-confirmed oil reserves, and an expected growth in global demand, the kingdom is likely to continue to play a central role in the energy arena.

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OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Producers Try to Narrow the Price Gap

OPEC and its non-OPEC allies are working to drain excess supply and balance oil markets, but much depends on whether the expanded oil producers’ club remains committed to production cuts.

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Oil Producers Hammer Out Compromise Deal in Vienna; Extent of Cuts Unclear

Looking to boost oil prices, OPEC and its non-OPEC allies have agreed to curtail oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day, but the volume of barrels taken off the market may prove to be much higher.

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OPEC and Allies Mull Oil Production Cut while Trump Presses to Keep Prices Low

Ahead of their December 6 meeting in Vienna, OPEC and its non-OPEC allies are considering whether and to what extent they need to curb production to balance an oversupplied market and lift oil prices. But Trump’s pressure to keep oil prices low will make their job that much harder.

UAE Security Forum 2018: "Yemen after the War: Addressing the Challenges of Peace and Reconstruction"

For the third consecutive year, AGSIW convened the UAE Security Forum, where U.S., UAE, and regional partners gather to find creative solutions to some of the region’s most pressing challenges.

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Can Iraq’s New Oil Minister Reshape the Energy Sector?

Iraq’s new oil minister, Thamir Ghadhban, has managed to maneuver his way around the maze of Iraq’s sectarian politics; now, he will have to oversee a restructuring of the energy sector without upsetting the vested interests that have benefited from the absence of good governance across the Iraqi political spectrum.

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U.S. Sanctions Against Iran No Longer a Zero-Sum Game

While a new round of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector is more restrictive than previous sanctions, it is clear Washington is wary of administering a shock to oil markets.

Saudi Arabia Transforming

This post is part of an AGSIW series on Saudi Vision 2030, a sweeping set of programs and reforms adopted by the Saudi government to be implemented by 2030.

Arabian Sights Film Festival: What's Next for Arab Cinema?

We are witnessing a renaissance of Arab cinema with a much wider range of sophisticated films tackling a variety of topics and receiving much critical acclaim.