For a region in the midst of profound change and turmoil, the energy sector in the Middle East sits at the critical nexus of economics and security. Regionally, oil and gas markets drive politics, serve as the basis of borders and boundaries, and can also be a source of financing for militant groups, such as the Islamic State. Domestically, the energy sector is an indispensable driver of economic growth and innovation from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv. Yet, oil and gas markets depend on certainty and stability to fuel growth, and in recent years the political economy of the Middle East has instead been defined by its insecurity, uncertainty, and ambiguity in the political and economic spheres. Taken with the falling price of oil, and the closing financial window for new exploration and investment in the region, a dark cloud now hangs over the future energy landscape in the Middle East.
This discussion used the Eastern Mediterranean as a case study to examine how uncertainty and instability at the nexus of energy and security are imperiling future growth and prosperity in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Key questions included: in an ever-evolving region, how do you evaluate risks and opportunities? What are the key indicators to address challenges and attract investment? What is at stake for the future of growth and economic empowerment in the Eastern Mediterranean if the resource potential of the region remains untapped?
- James Burkhard, managing director, Global Oil, IHS CERA
- Keith Elliott, Senior Vice President, Eastern Mediterranean Region, Noble Energy
- Amos Hochstein, special envoy and coordinator for International Energy Affairs, US Department of State
- Gal Luft, co-director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
- Toni Verstandig, chair, Middle East Programs, The Aspen Institute
See the event summary and participant list here.