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OAEN 2070 - Politics and Economics of International Energy

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 39

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


There are no pre-requisites; this is the introductory course to the International Energy Master. All students in the Master or wishing to take the International Energy Minor must take this course.

Course Description

The definition of energy sustainability is based on three core dimensions : energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability. More frequently than not, these three objectives are mutually contradictory or incompatible. The future of energy thus poses a trilemma, i.e. the need to navigate difficult trade-offs between the three major objectives. Energy (oil, gas, power) remains one of the biggest businesses, and maintains a strategic characterization that sets it aside from other economic sectors. As such, it attracts the attention of industrial, financial and political actors internationally. The course aims at providing students with the critical knowledge and skills to avoid superficial generalizations and simplifications, which unfortunately remain all too common.


  • LUCIANI, Giacomo (Director Gulf Research Center Foundation)
  • MOERENHOUT, Tom (PhD Student)

Pedagogical format

This is an introductory course aiming at providing students with basic background knowledge. The course combines power point based lectures with a MOOC and videos of past lectures online; students will be required to participate in debates in class and through the course MOODLE forum. Online materials: MOOC “Politics and Economics of International Energy” on Coursera ( Other videos available from the class MOODLE. Lectures and readings available from the class MOODLE.

Course validation

A midterm and a final: these are take home exams, handled remotely by email. You will need to write a short essay (500 words) responding to one out of three or four questions that will be proposed. The midterm and final are worth each about 50% of the final grade (rule applied with some discretionality). Class participation. This will be measured through postings of relevant materials taken from the web and participation in discussion groups and subjected to peer grading. Details to be explained in class. Positive contributions will earn bonuses to improve your final grade.


Students must attend class and carefully go over class notes (power point presentations). They must selectively and intelligently absorb material from the extensive reading list. They are encouraged to ask questions and raise issues in class. Students must also absorb the online material, which will not be presented in class. Every student will be asked to actively participate in a debate in class defending a position assigned to him/her. The course earns you 4 ECTS. Each ECTS represents a minimum of 25 hours of work, so the course requires a minimum total of 100 hours of work, of which lectures represent 24 hours. Over the 12 weeks of the course you should work on average another 6.5 hours per week individually.

Required reading

  • Daniel Yergin, “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power”
  • The Geopolitics of Energy

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Session 1: Introduction – Long-Term Energy Trends
  • Session 2: Energy scenarios – views of the future
  • Session 3: Renewable Sources and the issue of intermittency
  • Session 4: The future of nuclear energy
  • Session 5: CCS and the Carbon Market
  • Session 6: European Energy Policies: Security of Supply, Competition, Decarbonization
  • Session 7: International Oil: Reserves, Production, Technology, Refining
  • Session 8: The International Oil Market: Functioning
  • Session 9: The International Oil Market: the Debate
  • Session 10: National and International Oil Companies
  • Session 11: Natural Gas: Reserves, Production, Technology, Perspectives
  • Session 12: Geopolitics of Gas

Biographical information

Scientific Advisor for the Master in International Energy at PSIA, Giacomo Luciani is also  Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and Director of the Executive Master in International Oil and Gas Leadership. For the period 2010-13 he was appointed Princeton University Global Scholar, attached to the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Near Eastern Studies, The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. His research focuses on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa and on global energy issues.