Preparing for the new oil order? Saudi Arabia and Russia

Michael Bradshaw, Thijs Van de Graaf, Richard Connolly

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21 Citations (Scopus)
374 Downloads (Pure)


The COP24 meeting in Katowice, Poland, made clear the divisions between the winners and losers of a low-carbon energy transition. The IPCC's 1.5 °C report shows that climate change mitigation must see an early peak in oil demand and a rapid fall in consumption thereafter. The ‘shale revolution’ and the falling cost and rapid deployment of renewable energy are laying the foundations of a ‘new oil order’ that threatens the prosperity of oil exporting economies. A review of forecasts and scenarios reveals significant uncertainty surrounding the dynamics of future oil demand. This provides the backdrop for a comparative analysis of the world's largest oil exporters: Saudi Arabia and Russia. Saudi Arabia is shown to be concerned to maintain oil revenues to finance its ‘2030 vision’ to diversify its economy. Russia, by comparison, shows no such ambition, rather it seems determined to increase its reliance on the oil and gas sectors. The conclusions suggest that fossil fuel exporters must act now to prepare for the low carbon transition and that a failure to do so could result in tensions and conflicts that could undermine the collective action required to address climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100374
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Strategy Reviews
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Fossil fuels
  • Energy transition
  • Diversification
  • Geopolitics
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Russia


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