March 6, 2024
10:00 am - 11:00 am


Zoom Webinar

The Middle East Institute’s (MEI) Program on Economics and Energy cordially invites you to a panel discussion of the war-time threats to energy transit along the Red Sea corridor and to regional production facilities, within the context of broader supply-and-demand dynamics. Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel and subsequent war in Gaza, hydrocarbon prices have held relatively stable, although attacks by Houthi militants on shipping in the Red Sea could cause long-term market shifts and geographic segmentation. Why have we seen such a low impact on oil prices to date despite profound regional instability? What explains natural gas prices staying at historic lows? Are Gulf oil facilities at risk? What is the outlook for gas production in the Eastern Mediterranean? And how is OPEC considering outside supply competition and near-term demand? 

To answer these and other questions, MEI has convened five top US and regional energy and geopolitical risk analysts, who include contributors to MEI’s new edited volume Energy Transitions in the Middle East. They will reflect on their assessments of oil and gas markets prior to Oct. 7 as well as share their views on the current risks and challenges for fossil fuel producers in the region.


Yesar Al-Maleki
Gulf Analyst, Middle East Economic Survey;
Non-Resident Fellow, Middle East Institute

Colby Connelly
Senior Research Analyst, Energy Intelligence;
Director, Economics and Energy Program, Middle East Institute

Nikolay Kozhanov
Research Associate Professor at the Gulf Studies Center of Qatar University;
Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute

Emily Stromquist
Managing Director, Teneo;
Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute

Karen Young (Moderator)
Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University;
Non-resident Senior Fellow and Chair of the Economics and Energy Program Advisory Council, Middle East Institute 

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Yesar Al-Maleki is an energy economist and consultant with an extensive knowledge of the intertwining subjects of energy, geopolitics, and economics in the region. Formerly, he was the Managing Director of Iraq Energy Institute (IEI) in Baghdad, where he led research programs on Iraq’s and Iraqi Kurdistan's oil, natural gas and power sectors, water and environmental challenges, economy, and politics. He has worked for the International Energy Agency (IEA) and various international oil companies. He is specialized in studying the future of rentier states in the Gulf region and prospects of joint economic diversification in the northern region of the Persian Gulf, and has written on the impact of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) on Middle Eastern port politics, protest movement in oil-rich Basra, OPEC’s oil market balancing measures, Venezuela’s economic woes, and the prospect of Russian energy exports diversification.

Colby Connelly is the director of MEI's Economics and Energy program. He is also a senior analyst at Energy Intelligence, where he works with the firm’s research and advisory practices. His key areas of focus include oil and gas/LNG markets, aboveground risk, corporate strategy, and the impact of the energy transition on oil and gas producing states. Previously, Colby worked as a research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, where he focused on the economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council region, specializing in national oil companies and domestic energy markets. He also spent several years working as a contractor in Saudi Arabia in support of workforce nationalization initiatives. He designed, managed, and supported multiple training programs for new employees of Saudi energy and critical infrastructure companies. He also served as a contributor to IHS Markit’s Middle East and North Africa country risk service for nearly eight years.

Nikolay Kozhanov is a Research Associate Professor at the Gulf Studies Center of Qatar University. His research focuses on the geopolitics of Gulf energy, Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as Iran’s economy and international relations. Dr. Kozhanov has been a visiting fellow at a number of leading international think-tanks including Chatham House, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Carnegie Moscow Center. Nikolay holds a PhD in international economics and economic security from St. Petersburg State University (2010).

Emily Stromquist has over a decade of experience advising corporate and financial services clients on global energy market trends and political risk, and has lived and worked across Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and Africa. She is currently a Managing Director at Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm. Previously, Emily was a senior analyst at Eurasia Group on the firm's global energy team based out of the London office. In this role, she worked with a wide range of clients in the energy sector advising on changes in energy policies, regulation, and markets, and helping clients identify risks and opportunities in their global portfolios and supply chains. She then joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris as a Programme Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa and Russia. In this capacity, she oversaw the development of the IEA’s engagements and joint work with these respective governments on a range of energy access, security, and clean energy transitions issues. Most recently, Emily has launched energy advisory services for several Middle East-focused startups in London and MENA, consulting for government and private sector clients on energy transitions strategies and roadmaps, and their impacts on a range of policy, economic, and investment trends in the region. 

Dr. Karen E. Young is a political economist focusing on the Gulf, the broader MENA region and the intersection of energy, finance and security. She is a Senior Research Scholar at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy. She is a Non Resident Senior Fellow at MEI and Chair of the Advisory Council of MEI’s Program on Economics and Energy.  Previously she served as the founding director of that Program.  She was a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and has been a professorial lecturer at George Washington University, teaching courses on the international relations of the Middle East. She regularly teaches at the US Dept of State Foreign Service Institute. Earlier, she was Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute and a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Middle East Centre. She led a seminar series on emerging markets in MENA at Johns Hopkins SAIS. At the American University of Sharjah, she served as Assistant Professor of Political Science from 2009-2014. Prior to joining AUS, she held research and administration roles at New York University in NYC.


(Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)