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Conference Program



Coffee Served (Networking)


Symposium Opening


KU Welcome Address

​IAEE President Opening Remarks

Christophe Bonnery, President, International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE)

​General Symposium Chair Opening Remarks

Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Research & Development and Professor of Practice, Khalifa University

Ministerial Keynote, UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry

Plenary Session 1: The Future of Hydrocarbons: Changing Demand and Subsequent Impacts


The future energy mix may see a significantly reduced demand for coil, a reduced demand for oil but an increase in demand for natural gas.  What will the future hold for Middle Eastern energy importing and exporting countries in such a future energy landscape?

Potential discussion topics include:

  • What is the timeline for a transition away from coal and oil use given that oil and gas are expected to remain critical fuels to 2050 and even beyond according to EIA/IEA/BP and other long run projections?

  • What are the possible impacts of transport electrification on oil demand and how should NOCs and IOCs respond? How will regional NOCs adapt and change as the energy landscape unfolds? What will be the evolving relationship between NOCs and IOCs?

  • Will the major oil exporting countries shift to become natural gas and/or hydrogen suppliers?

  • What is the future of LNG demand in the Middle East given constraints trends in domestic gas supply? Which countries within the Middle East will become LNG importers or exporters?

  • Will the major energy exporting countries in the GCC have a coordinated or differentiated response to the changing global energy landscape?

Marianne Kah (Presiding)

Advisory Board Member and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy

Ed Rawle

Chief Economist, Economics & Competitive Intelligence, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company​

Masakazu Toyoda

Chairman and CEO, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ); Adjunct Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

Ken Medlock

Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies, Baker Institute

Bashir Dabbousi

Director of Technology Strategy & Planning, Saudi Aramco

Coffee Break


Plenary Session 2: Shaping the Future Energy Landscape: The Role of Climate Concerns and Technology Innovation


Climate change concerns and technological innovation are expected to play a key role in the evolution of the global energy landscape. In this session, the drivers of regional and global energy transitions will be discussed. 

Potential discussion topics include:

  • How important is climate change to the energy agenda in the Middle East and will it be a driver of the region’s energy policy agenda?

  • What current and emerging technologies are most regionally relevant for addressing climate change and/or embracing the 4th industrial revolution?

  • Can blue-hydrogen and CCUS prevent fossil fuels from becoming stranded assets? How is this being considered in the region? 

  • Will green and blue-hydrogen play a major role in the region’s future energy system? Who will be the major players?

Yukari Niwa Yamashita (Presiding)

Board Member and Director, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)

Ahmad Al Khowaiter

Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Aramco

Samira A. S. Omar

Director General of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)

Alan Nelson

Chief Technology Officer, ADNOC

Lunch (networking)


Plenary Session 3: Energy Diversification: Renewables and Nuclear in the Middle East


Renewable energy is now the fastest growing form of power generation at the global level. What role will low-carbon energy play in regional energy markets?

Potential discussion topics include:

  • Is domestic deployment of renewable energy and/or nuclear energy important for major energy producing countries in the Middle East? Are renewables only relevant to energy importing countries?

  • Why are many Middle Eastern countries building coal-fired power generation plants when renewable energy resources are regionally abundant?

  • Is solar and wind energy intermittency an issue that impedes regional renewables deployment and how should it be addressed? What are the true costs of renewables when intermittency and balancing are considered?

  • Can inter-connectivity between regional electricity grid networks catalyze local renewables deployment? How important is regional electricity interconnection?

  • Will green-hydrogen factor prominently into the regional renewables landscape? Is hydrogen critical for seasonal storage of electricity and/or an energy export opportunity? 


Adnan Shihab-Eldin (Presiding)

Director General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS)

Michel Berthélemy

Senior Economist, OECD

Christophe Bonnery

President, International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE)

Fatima AlFoora AlShamsi

Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity, Water and Future Energy Affairs, UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry

Maher Odan - invited

Chief Atomic Energy Officer, KACARE

Coffee Break


Plenary Session 4: Geopolitics: Issues Facing the Region Today and Tomorrow


The geopolitics of energy will evolve but remain critical to energy markets and the notion of energy transition. What are the key energy-related geopolitical issues that Middle Eastern countries face currently and are expected to face in the future?

Potential discussion topics include:

  • What will be the impact of US tight oil production surge on OPEC countries? Will OPEC remain relevant?

  • What could be the broad impacts of US sanctions on Iran oil exports and how will this impact global oil markets in the coming years?

  • Is it important to establish regional cooperation in electricity grid and natural gas pipelines? 

  • What are the regional economic ramifications of a global energy transition away from hydrocarbon-based energy, particularly oil? How should Middle Eastern countries respond?

  • What are the regional and global ramifications of economic diversification efforts in the Middle and particularly in the GCC countries? Will diversification efforts succeed in their ambitions?

Adam Sieminski (Presiding)

President, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC)

Majid Al-Moneef

Secretary General, Higher Committee for Hydrocarbon Affairs, Saudi Arabia

Bassam Fattouh

Director, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; Professor, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Amena Bakr

Senior Energy Correspondent, Energy Intelligence Group

Adnan Amin

Senior Fellow Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government

Closing Plenary


Summarization of the day’s discussions and key take-away points.