Dr. Sara Vakhshouri
Founder and president of SVB Energy International, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center
Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.
Dr. Sara Vakhshouri is founder and president of SVB Energy International. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. She is an internationally recognized expert and has extensive experience in global energy market studies, energy security, and geopolitical risk with a special focus on the Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Dr. Vakhshouri has experience working in both the public and private sectors of the Iranian energy industry, including the National Iranian Oil Company, where she worked from 2000 to 2008. Dr. Vakhshouri has been based in Washington, DC since 2009, where she has advised numerous energy and policy leaders, international corporations, think tanks, investment banks, and law firms on the global energy market, the geopolitics of energy, and investment patterns.
She has testified to Congress on the Energy Markets and National Security and published articles in numerous journals including The Economist, Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), and Oil and Gas Journal. She is frequently quoted and interviewed in outlets such as The Financial Times, Reuters, The Financial Post, and Energy Intelligence, and she has appeared on Bloomberg, BBC, Al Jazeera, Platts Energy TV, Voice of America, and CBC. She authored a book on ‘The Marketing and Sale of Iranian Export Crude Oil since the Islamic Revolution’.
Dr. Vakhshouri has a PhD in energy security and Middle Eastern studies, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. She has an MA in business management (international marketing), and another MA in international relations.
In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?
The new technologies in the energy industry, extraction of Unconventional Resources in the North America and US in particular, and the over supply in the market and low oil prices as the result of that are all the important issues the energy industry is facing today. The implication of the low oil prices on the producers, consumers and investors behaviors, its impact on different issues like the change of energy flow and geopolitics of energy, the competition between major oil producers and their market strategies and tactics to increase their market share, are all very interesting and importing factors that are going to shape the energy policy of courtiers and companies in the next few decades.
It is also important to note that the current low oil prices have changed the notion and some of the components of energy security. The ‘low and affordable energy prices’ that has been one of the major defining factor for the energy security is now turned into a threat against the supply diversification and increased the global energy dependency on the ‘relatively’ unsecured low cost oil supplies of Middle East. Also the low oil prices could change the consumer’s behavior and reduced the efficiency of energy consumption.
How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?
I have been a member of NCAC since 2009 or 2010 when I just moved to Washington DC. NCAC’s gatherings and events are always a great place to learn something new and stay connected with the energy network in DC.