Recent projections for energy production on the American continent (from Canada to South America) are suggesting a potential energy independence for the western hemisphere in the next fifteen years. The very large newly found oil reserves (mainly off the coast of Brazil), the technological progresses (allowing for the safe exploitation of tar sands in Canada) and the natural gas potential of shale gas in North America are changing the energy equation on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. What has been historically the Gulf region's main customer of hydrocarbons is likely to significantly decrease its import in the near future. Although other emerging regions (India, China, Africa) should make up for this loss in the short term, the global efforts to mitigate climate change is bound to encourage natural gas consumption over oil. GCC countries will thus face a strong challenge to diversify its customer network and adapt their energy mix production drifting away from oil towards natural gas and renewables. Each of the GCC countries will face different challenges depending on their resource endowment and infrastructure network. This research aims at analyzing the potential domestic impact of this new scarcity of demand. Each country in the Gulf region has developed a unique set of domestic institutions and economic structures whose resilience will be challenged. This research implements comparative politics theories and lenses, especially Thomas G. Moore's framework of analysis assessing state's capacity to absorb external shocks and issue national responses for economic adjustment (Cambridge, 2002). It also reverses the argument developed by Ikenberry (Princeton) on European and American countries comparative economic responses to the oil shock in the 1970s. The objective of this study is to inform Gulf countries' governments of the best original set of proactive policies and reforms that should be adopted to ensure sustainable development, social progress, political stability and economic transition.


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