This volume presents papers drawn from ECSSR’s Second Annual Energy Conference entitled, “Strategic Positioning in the Oil Industry: Trends and Options,” held in Abu Dhabi, October 26-27, 1996. The work highlights and investigates the changes which are occurring in the demand structure for oil, changes that will have far-reaching consequences for oil producers, refiners and distributors who wish to perform in an ever-competitive market. Written principally by leading practitioners, the essays represent the most current thinking on how and in which direction the oil industry, particularly in the Gulf region, is developing. Readers will find trenchant analyses of vertical integration as a strategy for oil security, refining and petroleum product specifications in Asia, privatization initiatives in the Gulf’s energy sectors, downstream integration of national oil companies, and options and opportunities for Gulf oil companies in the Asian market. Strategic Positioning in the Oil Industry: Trends and Options is not only a valuable collection of information and argument but it also offers a rare insight into the beliefs and perceptions of those participating in today’s international oil industry.