Gulf states’ energy sectors in the context of regional disruption in the MENA region

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This article is featured in Orient III/2024.

This article examines the degree to which energy sectors in the Gulf states have been affected, both directly and indirectly, by the regional disruption across the Middle East and North Africa since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in October 2023. Following a short introduction, the article contains three sections which analyse the (re)positioning of Gulf energy sectors in a time of changing global considerations, the varying impacts of regional disruption on the energy exporting states in the Gulf arising from the threats to regional chokepoints in the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab and Red Sea, and the broader repercussions and implications for regional stability with particular focus on Saudi plans to develop its Red Sea coastline as well as on the mounting economic pressures on Egypt.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His research spans the history, political and international political economy, and international relations of the Gulf states and their changing position within the global order. He is the author of six books about the Gulf states, including Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era (Hurst, 2011), The Gulf States in International Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Qatar and the Gulf Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2020), and Centers of Power in the Arab Gulf States (Hurst, 2023). Prior to joining the Baker Institute in 2013, he co-directed the Kuwait Programme on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics and Political Science and was also an Associate Fellow with the Middle East North Africa Programme at Chatham House between 2012 and 2021.

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