Announcement. Visiting Research Fellow Programme 2016

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1 Announcement Visiting Research Fellow Programme 2016 Objectives of the Visiting Research Fellow Programme The Visiting Research Fellow Programme (VRFP) is an innovative approach to human capacity development and is designed to help professionals from OPEC Member Countries improve their expertise and technical skills in research in an array of energyrelated issues. It does this by providing participants with the opportunity to become involved in the Secretariat s research operation through practical experience and learning by doing. Professional Benefits to Fellows Participants in the VRFP benefit from being in the programme through: Involvement and close participation in the Secretariat s research programme and studies; Contributing to ongoing projects in the Secretariat s and strengthening of networks with Member Country professionals; Gaining experience at the Secretariat and deepening their knowledge of OPEC and understanding of its goals, priorities and activities; Opportunities to involve themselves in cutting-edge research and hands-on experience of policy issues in climate change and on a range of energy-related topics; Enhancing their professional experience through practical work assignments; Exposure to a rich international environment and interaction with researchers from OPEC Members and other countries; Broadening their career possibilities as a result of the experience and insights gained at OPEC. General Eligibility Requirements The programme is open to applicants from Member Countries only. They must be nominated and supported by their respective OPEC Governors; Applicants should be professionals with a minimum of five years of relevant work experience; Applicants must be familiar with research methodology and should have a proven record of research experience; Participants are expected to be able to undertake the programme in English, which is the working language of the Secretariat; Applications must be submitted through the relevant Governor for OPEC. 1

2 Expected Outcome/Deliverables Participants in the programme will be involved directly in the research undertakings at the Secretariat and will contribute to them; Participants are required to deliver a report to the Secretariat on the findings of their research projects; Participants are required to make a presentation at the end of their assignments and to discuss their research findings with members of the Secretariat. All intellectual property arising from research by the programme s participants belongs to the Secretariat. An intellectual property and confidentiality agreement will be signed before a successful participant is formally accepted into the programme. Duration & Working Hours The duration of the programme will be six months. The Visiting Research Fellows are expected to observe the official working hours of the Secretariat. Allowances, Accommodation, Travel and Insurance Participants are required to have paid employment and to be able to fully support themselves financially while staying in Vienna, and they must provide adequate evidence of this through their nominating Governors before they can be admitted to the programme. The Secretariat will provide each participant with a monthly honorarium of 1,000 to assist with extra expenses. However, the Secretariat will not cover any costs related to the accommodation or travel of participants or their dependents. Participants must arrange their own health/sickness insurance and provide evidence that they possess adequate health coverage before arriving in Vienna. The Secretariat will not be responsible for any health or sickness claims stemming from the fellowship period. With regard to accident insurance at the workplace, the Secretariat will enroll participants in its accident insurance scheme for the duration of their stay in the programme at the Secretariat. Application Evaluation Criterion Candidates' professional merit and potential for successful research will be the main consideration when evaluating the applicants. Application Procedure Applicants are required to complete the application form, which includes writing an elaborate research proposal that should center on any of the topics listed below. Applicants are also requested to attach their latest Curriculum Vitae to the completed application form. The following are the research topics available in the different Departments/Office/Unit at the Secretariat for the 2016 VRFP: 2

3 Data Services Department Introduction to the Data Services Department The Data Services Department (DSD) is responsible for supporting the research activities in the Research Division through provision of statistical data management and analysis, software development, and documentation/references management services. The department is the central provider of reliable, timely, up-to-date data, documentation and information pertaining to the oil market in particular, and energy and related issues in general. Research topic: Improving the OPEC Reference Basket Estimation Procedure This study has the primary task of identifying and quantifying uncertainties associated with the estimation of the ORB by applying appropriate statistical tools. The study will attempt to quantify and disaggregate uncertainties for each component of the ORB calculation with the aim of arriving at recommendations for optimizing the overall accuracy of the ORB. Appropriate optimization, data mining and pattern recognition techniques will be applied within the framework of this project. Keywords: Crude oil, benchmark price, ORB, uncertainty, statistical probability distribution, optimization, data mining, pattern recognition. Specific Eligibility Requirements The candidate is expected to have a solid knowledge of statistical analysis and data mining techniques. Moreover, he/she should have a strong computing capability. Working experience with R would be an advantage. 3

4 Energy Studies Department Introduction to the Energy Studies Department The Energy Studies Department (ESD) is responsible for monitoring, analysing and forecasting world energy developments in the medium- and long-term and reporting thereon. It also monitors developments, and undertakes specific studies on energy demand and production-related technology and the emerging implications for OPEC. ESD furthermore identifies and follows up key areas of research and development (R&D) and facilitates and supports coordinated planning and implementation of collaborative energy related R&D programmes of OPEC Member Countries; as well as identifies prospects for OPEC participation in major international R&D activities. R&D activities undertaken by ESD include carrying out studies and reporting on medium to long term developments in the petroleum industry; providing effective tools for and carrying out model based studies for analyses and projections of medium and long term energy supply/demand and downstream simulation; elaborating on OPEC s Long Term Strategy; and monitoring, analysing and reporting on relevant national or regional policies, such as fiscal, energy, trade and environmental, and assessing their impacts on energy markets. Research topics: Applicants are required to choose one of the four below research topics proposed by ESD: (1) Future role of residual fuel oil in a carbon constrained world This research assignment would include the following: The use of oil, namely residual fuel oil in power generation is declining gradually and is challenged as a fuel (bunker fuel) in marine transportation. In addition to cost effectiveness of oil in power generation, environmental considerations may be adding to this displacement in power generation. To which extent the new oil price environment in general and stringent marine sulphur emissions, as well as CO 2 emissions from stationary sources, will impact the future of fuel oil and the refining industry, is the subject of this study. The current status of the fuel oil market: all fuel oil demand sectors including power generation and marine sector will be examined. An evaluation of the residual fuel oil demand in light of current and foreseeable legislation and market drivers affecting the future of the fuel oil market is to be contemplated under a reference scenario and alternative scenarios. The impact on refining technological development shall also be studied under the reference scenario and alternative scenarios. Focus on the development of the marine sector (products specifications, fleet, routes and cost) and an assessment of fuel oil supply/demand gaps integrating CCS and other CO 2 mitigation options in gap resorption and impact absorption should investigated under the reference scenario and alternative scenarios and any other relevant areas of investigation deemed to be considered or which need to be spotlighted and are not covered in this concise description. 4

5 Specific Eligibility Requirements This assignment requires excellent modelling, technical and analytical skills as well as research abilities. A Post Graduate degree in Econometrics/Engineering economics/chemical engineering Ample knowledge of the oil and gas industry and marine sector Excellent modelling skills At least 3 years of working experience on related issues Fluency in oral and written English Teamwork, accountability and professionalism (2) Medium- and Long-term natural gas outlook In general, this assignment would include, but shall not be limited to, the following: The main objective of this study is to analyze the medium- and long-term natural gas markets, including the share of natural gas in the energy mix, the natural gas demand outlook (in the major end uses of electricity, transport and petrochemicals), the gas supply situation and a comparison of natural gas prices in the major regional markets. It should also analyze how unconventional gas and liquefied natural gas prospects are influencing the landscape. The outcome should be to provide a comprehensive and detailed assessment, including interactions among different fuels in the energy-mix, regional and sectoral analysis (at a country level where relevant), with the intention to deliver a granular analysis and report. Specific Eligibility Requirements Advanced related university degree (Master or PhD) in energy related disciplines. At least 3 years of working experience on related issues Fluency in oral and written English Teamwork, accountability and professionalism (3) Global trends in renewable energies, developments, technologies, costs and risks Renewables are growing rapidly, with wind, solar and hydro, as well as the generation of biofuels being particularly at the core of greenhouse gas emission mitigation, clean energy development and energy security plans. According to available data, gross investment in renewables during 2012 was roughly equivalent to investment in fossil fuel capacity. Subsidies to alternative sources of energy are also quite considerable and have been increasing over the years. A rough estimate indicates renewable energy sources and biofuels are still subsidized at a much higher rate than fossil fuels (per unit basis). 5

6 The main objective of this study is to analyze and present the most recent development of renewables at both regional and country levels as well as investigations on cost and funding constraints, technological progress and future risks associated with development plans of each renewable energy source in different scenarios. The outcome of this study will provide a comprehensive picture of the current global status of renewables energies in addition to further analysis on medium- and long-term policies and projections. Specific Eligibility requirements Advanced related university degree (Master or PhD) in energy-related disciplines At least 3 years of working experience on related issues Fluency in oral and written English Teamwork, accountability and professionalism 6

7 Environmental Matters Unit Introduction to the Environmental Matters Unit Within the Research Division, the Environmental Matters Unit (EMU) is responsible for monitoring, analysing, reporting and advising on developments pertaining to the international debate on environmental matters affecting the energy sector. To this end, EMU s activities are client based and result oriented. EMU places emphasis on the needs of Member Countries with regard to policy research and analysis related to emerging challenges in the climate change/energy nexus. Research topic: Implications of China s and the United States of America s INDCs for the energy sector A cornerstone of the 2015 climate agreement and the future arrangements in mitigation actions of the UNFCCC Parties is expected to be the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). INDCs were originally agreed at COP19, evolved further at COP20, and are expected to evolve even further in the future COPs. Depending on how the INDCs may evolve in the future, they could pose potential challenges to the collective interest of OPEC Member Countries, particularly through the potential impact of the INDCs on the energy sector. This research aims at analysing the INDCs of the United States of America (USA) and China the two countries which are ranked as the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) accounting for about 40% of global GHG emissions, as well as being two major oil consumers. The research will examine their submissions and views, as well as literature, with the objective of understanding the future path of their actions while implementing their INDCs, and will attempt to develop clarity on what the potential impact of such actions on their energy sectors in general and oil demand in particular might be. Specific Eligibility Requirements The applicant should demonstrate academic and/or professional expertise in the fields of: Climate change negotiations; Policy research. 7

8 Petroleum Studies Department Introduction to the Petroleum Studies Department Within the Research Division, the Petroleum Studies Department (PSD) is responsible for continuous monitoring of oil and product market developments in the short-term, and reporting thereon in a timely and precise manner to Member Countries. Its objective is to provide pertinent and reliable information and analyses in support of decision-making and policy-making in Member Countries, as well as to highlight the conditions under which the world oil markets are balanced. PSD is also responsible for carrying out, on a continuous basis, research programmes and studies on short-term energy market issues. Its objective here is to make reports and ad hoc papers, highlighting particularly important issues available to Member Countries for their use and consideration. A further area of responsibility is conducting a series of regular forecasts by elaborating on and analysing oil market scenarios. These findings will then be reported to Member Countries for information purposes, as well as in support of policy-making. Research topic: The role of inventories and their effect on speculators behaviour In a world of rational expectations, speculation reflects the forward-looking nature of economic agents who manage inventories to smooth their oil consumption and production over time, paying attention to the expected future path of the oil price. Moreover, in a world of rational expectations, such speculation helps to stabilize spot prices when there is temporary demand or supply shocks. For example, if spot prices rise because the flow of production temporarily drops due to a supply shock, inventory holders can realize profits by selling stocks, which they can replenish later at a lower price. This release of inventories will increase the effective supply in the market, which, in turn, will dampen the spot price as a response to the supply shock. From this vantage point, speculative demand simply represents rational decisions of adjusting above-the-ground holdings of oil inventories in anticipation of price movements, as new information on future market conditions is gained. The object of this study is to understand how much speculation contributes to oil price volatility and what the oil supply/demand effects on oil prices are. To achieve this objective, the candidate is required to apply analytical and quantitative techniques and models, such as dynamic simulation. This study should cover the following issues: 1- A storage model of speculation using dynamic simulation model in order to simulate if there is a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. 2- An estimated model of the global oil market The visiting research fellow (VRF) will extract demand and supply elasticities for the following cross-section: 8

9 a- BRIC b- G7 c- US d- UK e- Japan Specific Eligibility Requirements Applicants should have strong background and relevant work experience in Energy Econometrics as well as in modeling techniques. 9

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