Crude Oil Blues: Strategic Impact of Falling Oil Prices on Middle East Security​

A discussion with:
Dr. Salam Fayyad 
Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority 
Distinguished Statesman, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security 
Atlantic Council 

The Hon. Sherri Goodman
Board Director
Atlantic Council​

Ms. Karen Elliott House
Former Publisher
The Wall Street Journal
Author, “On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines—and Future”

Mr. Raad Alkadiri 
Managing Director for Petroleum Sector Risk
IHS Energy

Crude oil prices have hit a twelve-year low owing to a combination of resurgent Iraqi exports, the United States' shale revolution, and Saudi Arabia's refusal to cut production in an effort to protect its market share. Additionally, post-sanctions Iran's re-entrance into the global marketplace has contributed to this global glut, which will only pose further challenges to the region's energy producers.

The fall in energy prices coincides with the recent escalation of tensions between OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Iran. Riyadh and Tehran are at odds in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, as Iranian officials boast about their plans to increase oil production by as many as one million barrels per day. While many focus on the impact of falling crude oil prices on energy markets and companies, insufficient attention has been paid to the security and economic ramifications the Middle East. As the Kingdom and its Gulf partners pursue costly security efforts abroad, low oil prices have forced them to consider painful and traditionally unpopular economic reforms at home. Middle Eastern oil producers could very well face a dual threat – can they continue to balance demanding security challenges at home and abroad? 

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