In 2004, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) established the OPEC Award for Research to honour distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the petroleum industry and oil-related issues. In particular, the OPEC Award for Research is intended to honour those who have shown dedication to research and analysis of oil-related issues; contributed to an enhanced dialogue between producers and consumers; demonstrated high level of independence and integrity in their work; persistently presented a critical, yet impartial, view on oil-related issues; produced a substantial record of publications at the international level.
The first four Award recipients were Professors Robert Mabro (Oxford), Peter Odell (Rotterdam), Paul Stevens (Dundee) and Øystein Noreng (Oslo), who received the Award in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012, respectively.
The OPEC Board of Governors, on the recommendation of OPEC Award Advisory Panel, had unanimously decided to award the 2015 OPEC Award for Research to Dr. Vaclav Smil, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba in Canada, in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of oil and energy research. The Award was presented at a Gala Dinner held at Vienna City Hall on Wednesday, June 3 as a part of the 6th OPEC International Seminar.