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Oil: The beginning of the end?

May 20, 2020The conference will be broadcast live on May 20, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe’s Twitter and YouTube channels. The conference will be broadcast live on May 20, starting at 6:00 p.m.
In Spanish.

Casa Árabe is hosting this conference about the economic and political consequences held for the Arab world by the oil crisis that has come about because of covid-19, to be given by two experts on energy in the region. Gonzalo Escribano (RIE - Uned) and Aurèlia Mañé (UB). It will be held on May 20 at 6:00 pm. on our YouTube and Twitter channels.

Like so many other industries, the world of oil is experiencing unprecedented times. As a result of paralysis in the economy and the confinement of one-third of the world’s population, demand for hydrocarbons has plummeted so greatly that negative crude oil prices were even reached in late April. The distortions which this is creating in the market, and the consequences in the medium and long term, are still difficult to predict, but they will undoubtedly lead to transformations which upend the economic and political systems of both hydrocarbon importers and exporters.

The Arab countries produce one-third of the oil used worldwide and possess half of all reserves. For some of them, especially the Gulf countries, revenue from hydrocarbons accounts for more than 50% of GDP, and around 60-70% of their export income. The drop in prices is leading to a massive decrease in their forecasted revenue, along with budgeting changes, the introduction of cutbacks, adjustment measures and the stoppage of development plans and projects. For some exporting countries like Algeria and Iraq, this situation has arisen within a very complicated socio-economic and political environment, while for others, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, it may produce a significant change in trends.

In order to analyze these factors and their impact on the region’s political economy, Casa Árabe has organized this debate via video conference, which will include the participation of Gonzalo Escribano, who is responsible for Energy and Climate Change at the Real Instituto Elcano and is an Economics professor at the UNED, and Aurèlia Mañé, a professor of Political Economics of Energy at the University of Barcelona. The event will be moderated by Olivia Orozco, Casa Árabe’s Training and Economic Coordinator. You can watch the conference live on Wednesday, May 20 starting at 6:00 p.m. through our social media channels on Youtube and Twitter with the hashtag  #debatescasaarabe

Gonzalo Escribano directs the Energy and Climate Change Program at the Real Instituto Elcano and is a tenured professor of Political Economics with the Department of Applied Economics at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). With a PhD in Economics and Business Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, he has been a visiting researcher at Florida State University and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and is an associate researcher for the Spanish International Relations Center at the Fundación Ortega y Gasset. He regularly teaches graduate courses about the geopolitics of energy and political economics in North Africa at numerous Spanish and foreign universities. He has participated in several domestic and foreign research projects, most notably the Seventh EU Framework Program, and several European Commission FEMISE Euro-Mediterranean projects, as well as having earned the research award bestowed by the Economic and Social Council.

Aurèlia Mañé Estrada is a tenured professor at the University of Barcelona with a PhD in Economics and Business Sciences from that university and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She has been an associate professor at the University of Denver (Colorado, USA) and is an honorary researcher with the School of History at the University of East Anglia (UK). Her main topics of research, since she completed her doctoral thesis on “The use of the economy as an instrument for political legitimacy in Algeria,” are “oil economies” and energy-related affairs, from a three-fold perspective: political economics, geo-energy and a historical/systemic approach. Some of her most notable publications on this subject matter include El gran negocio mundial de la energía (The Great World Energy Model, published by RBA ediciones, 2016).
Oil: The beginning of the end?
Photo: tonynetone