17 Items

Exhaust rises from an oil facility in the desert field of Sakhir, Bahrain, September 2009.

AP Photo/Hasan Jamali

Policy Brief - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

OPEC’s Misleading Narrative About World Oil Supply

| March 2017

The global oil market remains highly vulnerable to the actual status of oil supplies. There’s a paradox: so far, OPEC’s effort to convey the message of an exceptional level of compliance with cuts has helped sustain oil prices – but in so doing it has also incentivized oil output increases in many countries.


The Global Oil Market: No Safe Haven for Prices

| Feb. 23, 2016

Leonardo Maugeri explains why oil production continued to grow despite the collapse of oil prices since November 2014. Investment in production capacity did not abate. In point of fact, oil producers are just beginning to see results from recently completed or soon-to-be-completed investments – as he suggested in 2012. This momentum means today’s oil surpluses will grow, putting further downward pressure on prices.

Will global demand catch up to absorb this glut? It seems unlikely.

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports

| December 19, 2014

In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published “Oil: The Next Revolution,” which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today’s oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint.

“Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports” details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Oil prices fall as the demand eases.

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions

Oil prices could go even lower, Harvard economist says

| November 11, 2014

Italian energy economist Leonardo Maugeri has been getting attention lately for his 2012 prediction that growing oil supply capacity “could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.” In October, he declared victory. In an interview, the associate at Harvard’s Belfer Center told the Globe how he made his forecast and how long low oil prices could last.

Workers arrange pipes delivered for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline at the Black sea harbour of Varna some 450 kms (260 miles) east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions - World Energy Opinion

Europe Needs a Strategic Gas Reserve

| October 2014

Due to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as to the instability of Libya, the EU is facing once again a high level of energy vulnerability that proves how poor and inconsistent its energy policies have been. For almost 15 years now, Brussels has been devoting its efforts to liberalizing the downstream energy market, aiming in particular at fostering competition in gas distribution and power generation. It also set rigid standards in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, strongly supporting the development of renewables. Coupled with the economic crisis, these actions have created excess capacity in gas distribution and power generation, which in turn has brought investors in these sectors to their knees, without offering a solution to the underlying security problem: Absent abundant and competitive supply, the European gas market remains at the mercy of those that control the raw material.

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The Oil Crash: Why I Was Right

| October 21, 2014

In my 2012 study “Oil, the Next Revolution”, I stressed something that no one was seeing at that time (and much later as well). As summed up by the opening sentence of the study:

“Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.”

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

An Uphill Climb for the Oil Giants

| September 30, 2013

The big international oil companies are going through a crisis little noticed by analysts and the markets. It is a crisis of results and of vision.

Simply put, the majors — companies like Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP — aren’t growing. They have discovered relatively little oil in recent years despite increasing investment. They also have lost their exclusive lock on the skills that made them indispensable to oil-producing countries.