This seminar will explore the evolving geopolitics of energy, focusing on competition among exporting blocs and among innovations in fossil and renewable energy technologies.

The technologies for extracting unconventional oil and gas have evolved quickly over the past decade, allowing the US shale oil sector to reach new levels of efficiency in the face of falling oil prices. Meanwhile the declining cost of photovoltaic solar power has allowed it to become the cheapest way of producing electricity in many parts of the world.

If PV costs continue to decline -- or if batteries, electricity transmission, hydrogen storage, or nuclear power make a technological leap forwards - greater changes may follow. This seminar will explore how geopolitical relationships may be affected in the future, with a close look at strategies Saudi Arabia and OPEC may employ to defend their role in global energy markets in the face of challenges from new technologies and US shale oil.

Jim Krane will discuss the recent interplay between OPEC and the US shale sector. He will examine Saudi Arabia’s decision to maintain high levels of oil production in the face of falling prices, describing the decision's impact within the shale oil basins in the United States. Dr. Krane will highlight Saudi Arabia’s strategic goals as well as its tactics for surviving oil bust periods, while discussing whether the US shale sector might be positioned to assume some of the oil market’s “swing supply” role.

This seminar will explore how geopolitical relationships may be affected in the future and how Saudi Arabia is currently approaching the shale revolution

The seminar is organized jointly by the Baker Institute, NUPI and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be streamed live on YouTube.