Dr Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy, participated in the Study Day, co-organised by Allied Command Transformation and Nato Strategic Direction South in Naples on 5 December 2019. The Study Day focused on energy security in the MENA region.
Dr Nakhle covered the challenges and opportunities that the energy transition will bring to the oil and gas producers in the region, which is probably the least diversified region in the world, both from economic and energy perspectives.
The Middle Eastern net oil exporters remain largely single commodity economies, while their primary energy mix is largely dependent on hydrocarbons. Though they have the resources to meet their rapidly growing domestic demand, under existing trends and policies their local needs will erode their export base with drastic economic consequences.
Alternative energy sources are being looked at by Gulf States including renewable sources and nuclear power. However, in such poorly diversified economies, the energy transition to a greener future and the ambitious targets the region has set will simply mean more, not less reliance on oil and gas in the region.
From a global perspective, the more aggressive governments are in their pursuit of climate change policies in an age when oil is still needed, the more vulnerable their energy security will be, as their dependence on the Middle East will increase.
Formally established in September 2017, the NATO Strategic Direction South (NSD-S) Hub is a new entity that connects Allies, Partners and Subject Matter Experts to better understand and overcome challenges, as well as look for opportunities in NATO’s South (Middle East, North Africa, Sahel, and Sub-Saharan Africa).
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“Russia’s energy diplomacy in the Middle East”, Dr Carole Nakhle, Aug 2018
“Economic and Energy Aspirations of the Middle East”, Dr Carole Nakhle, Oct 2018