Publications

- November 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 11

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A Post-Oil Middle East: Investors in the energy-rich region are having trouble finding value

by Byron Wien

With all that is happening in the world — the U.S. election, the Brexit vote, various terrorist incidents, speculation about will she or won’t she raise rates at the Fed and other concerns — oil seems to have been pushed down the priority scale of market-influencing issues. The price of West Texas Intermediate has varied between the low and high $40s for months as investors have reacted to news about restrictive fracking legislation, Saudi Arabian production, demand in a slowing world economy and the liquidation of the huge crude inventory overhang.

Given that oil has certainly not diminished as the world’s most critical commodity, I thought I would like to learn more about what is going on in the Middle East. So at the end of September, I traveled to Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai to meet with Blackstone’s limited partners and others and probe into their thinking about energy and the geopolitical environment in the region.

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