Petro Diplomacy 2023: The Energy Transition and the Road to COP28
A Saudi man walks on a street past a field of solar panels at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Al-Oyeynah Research Station, May 21, 2012. (SAUDI-SOLAR/ REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)


Tuesday, June 27

Session 1: Decarbonization Pathways in the GCC

How are Gulf countries managing the energy transition to netzero carbon emissions? Are they all moving at the same speed? Where are the gaps? Is there a case for the creation of regional grids and hubs to advance the transition for all? What are the more promising technologies that are being used to reduce the carbon content of hydrocarbons in a more carbon-constrained world? The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are banking on becoming big players as green hydrogen exporters, but is this realistic? The region is vulnerable to the impact of climate change, particularly water stress and desertification. What are the mitigation policies that need to be put in place?



    Ben Cahill

    Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

    Adam Sieminski

    Senior Advisor, Board of Trustees, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

    Sara Vakhshouri

    Founder and President, SVB Energy International

    Kate Dourian

    Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Contributing Editor, MEES; Fellow, Energy Institute

Session 2: Geopolitical Shift and New Alliances

Relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the United States, China, and Russia are changing. This includes a geographic shift in energy trade flows and relations as well as shifts within the OPEC+ alliance, calling to question its future role. Can the Saudi-Russian energy pact survive in a lower oil price environment? 


Lunch Keynote


Wednesday, June 28

Session 3: Presentation – IEA Oil 2023 Report: Analysis and Forecast to 2028

Oil 2023, the IEA’s medium‑term outlook, provides a comprehensive overview of evolving oil supply and demand dynamics to 2028. The report examines how a stronger drive by governments toward a low-emission future and changes in behavior will impact oil market fundamentals in the years ahead. Oil 2023 explores some of the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead, including upstream investment, sources of new supply growth, spare capacity, and shifting oil demand. It also provides insights as to how these changing dynamics will affect refining and trade flows.




Session 4: The Future Energy Mix in the Gulf

The Gulf states are major consumers of hydrocarbons, particularly for power generation and transportation. Per capita consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are high by international standards. How can the energy mix be adapted to a more sustainable system that meets rising demand for energy without increasing emissions? How is the energy mix in the GCC countries changing as climate action is stepped up? Can Gulf oil and gas exporters replace revenue from hydrocarbons without upsetting the social contract with their people?  


The views represented herein are the author’s or speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of AGSIW, its staff, or its board of directors.

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