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Columbia Energy Exchange

Saudi Arabia’s Outsized Impact On Global Oil


Dr. Ibrahim AlMuhanna

President Biden is heading to Saudi Arabia next month amidst a global energy crisis. The trip is nothing new. For decades when faced with an oil crisis, presidents from both political parties have turned to Saudi Arabia. 

That’s because it’s one of the key players in the global oil market, producing about 10% of the world’s oil. 

For a deep dive into the unique role that Saudi Arabia plays in global oil markets, host Jason Bordoff spoke with Dr. Ibrahim AlMuhanna. He’s the vice chairman of the Saudi Association for Energy Economics and a longtime advisor to the Ministry of Energy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Between 1989 and 2017, he worked closely with four successive energy ministers, playing a central role in developing Saudi energy policy and communicating it to the outside world. His new book “Oil Leaders: An Insider’s Account of Four Decades of Saudi Arabia and OPEC’s Global Energy Policy” is the latest in the Center on Global Energy Policy book series published through Columbia University Press.

The pair discussed Dr. AlMuhanna’s career overseeing consequential energy decisions and the role of Saudi Arabia in global energy markets now and moving forward.

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