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The Middle East is filled with countries that have complex energy policies that affect the whole globe. Many of them work together in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to make decisions felt throughout the world energy sector, but they all have their own concerns as well. To help us better understand energy policy in the Middle East, especially in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, Oil & Gas 360® asked Dr. Sara Vakhshouri to share her insight on the region.

Dr. Vakhshouri has a PhD in energy security and Middle Eastern Studies and is president of SVB Energy International, a Washington based strategic energy consulting firm that advises national and international oil companies, international investors, banks and financial institutions, think tanks, law firms and government institutions.

Before serving as president of SVB, Dr. Vakhshouri worked in many different sectors of the oil and gas industry, including as a market analyst for the National Iranian Oil Company, a consultant for Pasargad Bank and a journalist and writer for Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, giving her an in-depth perspective on many facets of the oil and gas industry.

Oil & Gas 360® talked with Dr. Vakhshouri on Jan. 26, 2015, for this exclusive interview. Dr. Vakhshouri answered our questions to help us gain a better understanding of the oil and gas industry in Iran and Saudi Arabia, how energy policy factors into other government decisions in the Middle East and insight into OPEC. The questions we asked Dr. Vakhshouri are listed below:

  • Can Iran really withstand $25 oil?
  • How does today’s low price environment affect the decision making process of the Iranian government?
  • Is OPEC still the world’s dominant price-setting force in the petroleum industry?
  • What kinds of changes do you expect to see with a new Saudi king?
  • How will low prices affect social programs in Saudi Arabia that are funded through oil revenue?
  • How will other countries that are not as well equipped to handle to price downturn as Saudi Arabia handle the new price environment?
  • How does Israel factor in to the energy policy of other countries in the Middle East?

To gain a better understanding of the complexities of OPEC and its members’ energy policy, listen to today’s interview*.

*Embedded charts, graphics, video and related images were selected by Oil & Gas 360® for the purpose of providing visual illustrations to accompany the topics discussed during the interview.

Stay tuned for upcoming exclusive interviews with the “TOP MINDS IN THE BUSINESS.” Only on Oil & Gas 360®.

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