May 14, 2020 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

MIT Panel Discussion on the Oil Market Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic


In early March, a meeting of the OPEC+ group, which includes both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil-producing countries such as Russia, failed to agree on production cuts to offset the demand shock caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. When Saudi Arabia decided to increase its output, the downward trend of crude oil prices accelerated, reaching new lows not seen in nearly two decades.

What are the geopolitical implications of this dramatic collapse in oil prices, and the inability of OPEC to secure an effective response? What measures can be, or are already being, taken to address the growing oil demand and supply imbalance? How will the evolving market context affect U.S. producers, and, in particular, hydraulic fracturing? And what are the consequences for the continued push to decarbonize U.S. and global energy systems?

Several experts from MIT and invited guests will draw on their research and practical experience to comment on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the oil price shock.


Ryan Kellogg
University of Chicago

Ryan Kellogg is a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Deputy Dean for Academic Programs. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research. Kellogg's research bridges industrial organization, energy economics, and environmental policy, examining topics such as the response of investment to uncertainty, the economic consequences of the shale boom, the economics of oil and gas leasing, the effectiveness of policies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, and the economics of carbon regulation when the economic environment is uncertain.
Sergey Paltsev

Dr. Sergey Paltsev is a Deputy Director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative and MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), and a Director of the MIT Energy-at-Scale Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. He is the lead modeler in charge of the MIT Economic Projection and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model of the world economy. His research covers a wide range of topics including energy economics, climate policy, taxation, advanced energy technologies, and international trade.
Robert Pindyck

Robert Pindyck is the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. Professor in Finance and Economics and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Pindyck’s most recent research focuses on economic policies related to rare disasters, such as those that would severely affect the entire U.S. or world economies. Examples include possible but low-probability catastrophic outcomes from global warming or nuclear terrorism. At issue is how such low-probability but extreme outcomes should affect current policy, for example, in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He also has continued to work on irreversible investment decisions, the role of network effects in market structure, and the behavior of commodity prices.
Moderated by:
Christopher Knittel

Christopher R. Knittel is the George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics at the Sloan School of Management, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and Deputy Director for Policy of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty at MIT in 2011, having taught previously at UC Davis and Boston University. Professor Knittel received his B.A. in economics and political science from the California State University, Stanislaus in 1994 (summa cum laude), an M.A. in economics from UC Davis in 1996, and a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1999. His research focuses on environmental economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Productivity, Industrial Organization, and Energy and Environmental Economics groups.