Podcasts

Hear in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia, and civil society.

Book Series
Books Geopolitics

Oil Leaders

Purchase Book

Oil Leaders

An Insider’s Account of Four Decades of Saudi Arabia and OPEC’s Global Energy Policy

By Ibrahim AlMuhanna
May 2022

Oil is an unusual commodity in that individual decisions can have an outsized effect on the market. OPEC+’s choice to increase production, for instance, might send prices falling, affecting both oil producers and consumers worldwide. What do the leading oil market players consider before making a fateful move?

Oil Leaders offers an unprecedented glimpse into the strategic thinking of top figures in the energy world from the 1980s through the recent past. Ibrahim AlMuhanna—a close adviser to four different Saudi oil ministers during that period—examines the role of individual and collective decision making in shaping market movements. He analyzes how powerful individuals made critical choices, tracking how they responded to the flow of information on pivotal market and political events and predicted reactions from allies and adversaries. AlMuhanna highlights how the media has played an increasingly important role as a conduit of information among multiple players in the oil market. Energy leaders have learned to manage the signals they send to the market and to other relevant players in order to avoid sending oil prices into a spiral.

AlMuhanna draws on personal familiarity with many of these individual decision makers as well as his participation in decades of closed-door sessions where crucial choices were made. Featuring revelatory behind-the-scenes perspective on pivotal oil market events and dynamics, this book is a must-read for practitioners and policy makers engaged with the global energy world.

About the Author

Ibrahim AlMuhanna was an adviser to the Ministry of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 2017. He currently works as an energy consultant and serves as vice chair for the Gulf States/Middle East at the World Energy Council. He is the vice chairman of the Saudi Association for Energy Economics and holds a PhD in international relations from American University in Washington, DC.

Publications

Relevant Studies

January 25, 2023 Commentary Energy Security

Potential Energy Challenges from a China-Taiwan Conflict Scenario

A major military engagement could occur in the Asia-Pacific region in the form of a possible conflict between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.

Explore topic

Energy Security

Energy security has long been a central objective of energy policy, yet remains poorly understood and defined. Assessing energy security risks, and how they are evolving, is key for both the public and private sector.

January 12, 2023 Commentary Fossil Energy

Russia’s Methane Emissions and the War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the ensuing war have also spurred grave environmental and climate-related concerns.

Explore topic

Fossil Energy

Global fossil fuel use has grown alongside GDP since the start of the Industrial Revolution and currently makes up roughly 80% of global energy demand. But to meet our goals to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C degrees, demand will need to drop sharply by 2050.

December 14, 2022 Commentary Climate Change

Energy and Water for Sovereignty: South Sudan’s Regional Diplomacy and the Geopolitics of the Nile Basin

In June 2022, the government of South Sudan acknowledged that Egypt had delivered equipment for resuming its long-dormant Jonglei Canal megaproject by dredging tributaries of the White Nile.

Explore topic

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the central challenges of the 21st century. Building and linking the policies, technologies, financial systems, and markets needed to achieve climate goals is key to addressing this challenge.

See All Work
Books Geopolitics

Oil Leaders

Contact