• Focus Area Future of Global Oil Markets Future of Global Oil Markets
  • Type Commentary
  • Date 26 December 2023


On March 23, 2021, the Ever Given, a northbound ship loaded with more than 18,000 containers from China to the Netherlands drifted off course and became stuck in a single-lane section of the Suez Canal. As a result, hundreds of ships carrying food, oil, chemicals, and other goods were stuck at both the north and south entrances of the canal. This case was the first of its kind in the history of the Suez Canal – a cargo vessel caused the closure of the canal for a week due to a nonconflict event. However, the timing of the event was extraordinary, as the world was still struggling in its fight against COVID-19. The disruption caused by the stranded ship further exacerbated the supply chain chaos due to global lockdowns. The result was a halt to trade movement worth an estimated $400 million an hour (Baker, Watkins, and Osler 2021). After a week of dredging and tugging operations, the ship was successfully refloated and freed, leading to the opening of the canal.


Raed Al-Mestneer

Research Lead Dr. Raed is a Research Lead and an Economist in the Oil & Gas program, with a particular interest in…

Dr. Raed is a Research Lead and an Economist in the Oil & Gas program, with a particular interest in industrial development, economic diversification, and econometric modeling. He has worked with different types of econometric modeling techniques on different projects, especially in the field of economic diversification, oil prices and oil demand modeling. Prior to joining KAPSARC, he worked for Standard & Poor’s analytics and Capital IQ division in S&P’s headquarters in the financial district of New York, Wall Street, where he was involved in designing the first probability of default model tailored to the Saudi economy. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Southern Illinois University and was awarded a Master of Science in Economics from California State Polytechnic University. The title of his Ph.D. dissertation was “Economic Diversification: The Case of Saudi Arabia with Reference to Rich Natural Resource Countries.” He was assigned to lead KAPSARC's long-term sectoral oil demand forecast and outlook projects as a portfolio project manager. Through those projects, Dr. Raed, along with the rest of the project leads, was successful in developing forecasting models that forecast the long-term oil demand in different sectors (land transportation sector, maritime sector, aviation sector, petrochemical sector, residential/commercial building sector, agricultural sector, and power sector). Furthermore, Dr. Raed is a lead modeler of a project dedicated to forecasting the oil demand stemming from petrochemical feedstocks. He represented KAPSARC as a speaker at multiple conferences organized by the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) and workshops organized by the Office of the Economic and Development Affairs Commission (EDAC) of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Dr. Raed was recently appointed by the Board of Trustees of Riyadh Economic Forum as a supervising member of a study titled “Maximizing the Economic Revenue from Natural Resources to Achieve Sustainable Development.” Dr. Raed worked in KAPSARC as a T20 Events and Logistics Leader. He has made signicant contribution by being the first Saudi to teach applied econometrics at the newly eatblished KAPSARC Academy to facilatiate one of their acceleration programs in collaboration with LUISS Business School. Apart of Dr. Raed ’s academic, research, and advisory work he was a key member of an organizational restructuring team to develop KAPSARC’s training and learning & development programs (TASAMI) to build human capital capacity.


  • Research Interests Oil Demand Modeling
  • Econometric Analysis
  • Economic Diversification
  • Economic Development
  • Designing Policies to Mitigate Climate Change.

Publications See all Raed Al-Mestneer’s publications

Malik Selemankhel

Malik Selemankhel

Former Senior Research Associate Malik was a senior research associate in the Markets and Industrial Development team focused on downstream refining and petrochemicals value… Malik was a senior research associate in the Markets and Industrial Development team focused on downstream refining and petrochemicals value chains. He is a licensed professional engineer in Canada (APEGA) and Saudi Arabia (SCE) with over 10 years of engineering and oil business experience, both office and field based. Malik has experience in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of North America’s oil and gas industry. He has a keen interest in integrated hydrocarbon value chain optimization to help oil and gas companies maximize profits. Malik’s research interests include the optimization of integrated value chains driven by regional and international regulations on fuels and emissions, and economic growth, among other factors. In Canada, Malik developed the concept of using data analytics tools, such as machine learning, to improve plant availability during shutdowns.

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