Oil expert lectures at Pitt for International Week

By Marissa Meredyth

While some students watched Pitt play Miami last night, others gathered for a lecture on the… While some students watched Pitt play Miami last night, others gathered for a lecture on the global economics of oil prices.

The lecture, titled, “The Vega Factor: Oil Volatility and Global Conflict,” is the first in a three-part lecture series that focuses on water, energy and conflict.

The goal of the series is to increase local awareness on a wide range of international issues, said Veronica Dristas, outreach coordinator for the Global Studies Program of Pitt’s Center for International Studies.

Kent Moors, a political science professor at Duquesne University, spoke at last night’s event.

An internationally recognized expert for his work in oil and natural gas policy, Moors has been an adviser for the American, Russian, Kazakh, Bahamian, Iraqi and Kurdish governments.

In the small gathering of attendees was Raihana Al Nahari, a global management student in Pitt’s College of Business Administration.

The Pitt junior said it was interesting to hear Moors talk about how Saudi Arabia does not report its oil reserve numbers.

Al Nahari, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, said she was curious to see if the UAE reported its oil reserve numbers.

Moors said that not having an official report of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves makes finding the real value of a barrel of oil extremely difficult.

“It’s the future contracts and options — the paper, not the true value — that is determining the prices we pay,” Moors said. “That’s what we call a bubble.”

According to Moors, oil prices don’t come from the cost of a barrel of oil. Investors essentially place bets on what oil will cost in the future, which can allow the price to rise above the actual value of the oil.

The Global Solutions Education Fund Pittsburgh and Pitt’s Global Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and International Business Center sponsored the event in the William Pitt Union as part of Pitt’s International Week.

The Global Solutions Education Fund and the Global Studies Center launched the Global Issues Lecture Series in the spring of 2002. The next lecture will take place on Oct. 19, although no other information regarding a topic has been issued.

“[The International Business Center] and the Global Studies Center collaborates on many events together since one of focus themes is the global economy,” Dristas said.