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Effects of Oil Revenues in ME & NA . Oil Reserves. Nearly 70% of world’s known reserves and 60% of world’s oil supply by countries like Saudi Arabia Iraq United Arab Emirates Kuwait Iran. Oil Cartel.

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Effects of oil revenues in me na l.jpg

Effects of Oil Revenues in ME & NA


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Oil Reserves

Nearly 70% of world’s known reserves and 60%

of world’s oil supply by countries like

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Iraq

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Kuwait

  • Iran


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Oil Cartel

  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was formed according to the 1960 Baghdad Agreement

  • Original members: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Venezuela.

  • Other members: UAE, Qatar, Algeria, Libya, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Gabon


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Oil Price Trends

  • 1960-70: average < $2 per barrel

  • January 1973: $2.60 as the Shah of Iran staged a price increase to pay for his military imports

  • In October 1973, oil emerged as a "political weapon." The Arab members of the OPEC imposed an oil embargo against the West for its support of Israel in the fourth Arab‑Israeli war. Consequently, price rose to over $5 by Dec. 1973 and $12 by Jan. 1974 (the first oil shock).


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Oil Price Trends

  • The Iranian Revolution and ensuing Iran-Iraq War reduced the supply of oil to increase its price to $18 by Jan. 1979, and nearly $40 by Dec. 1979 (the second oil shock)

  • The average price fell to about $10 in 1984, rose to $20 in 1992, and fell again to about $15 in 1994 and less than $12 in 1998. The price has risen recently to about $40 due to smaller supply and larger demand


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The Oil Rush

  • Massive amount of windfall gains to exporting countries and huge income transfers form importing nations consumers to producers

  • For example, Saudi Arabia's revenue rose $5 billion in 1973 to a record high of $93 billion in 1980. About one-third of this revenue increase was due to quantity increase and two‑thirds to the price increase.


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The Oil Rush

Oil revenues are used to pay for

  • Imports of consumer and producer goods

  • Development of petrochemical industries

  • Construction of infrastructure

  • Military imports


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The Oil Market

  • Demand for oil depends on both economic and non-economic factors

  • Economic factors: own price, price of substitute products, consumer income and preference

  • Non-economic factors: availability and stability of the supply, probability of nationalization of oil industry, demands over loyalty levels, and pressures to employ and train local labor


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The Oil Market

  • The OPEC as a profit-maximizing cartel controls the supply of oil

  • The organization establishes a total daily supply and distributes that among members countries according to their production capacity

  • Member countries make profits from selling their daily quotas at the OPEC price


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Pricing Strategy

  • In the 1970s & 1980s, the OPEC used a price-fixing strategy, with the differentials between the members (due to production costs) set at levels, which were expected to guarantee sales of crude oil for each member of the cartel.

  • Members' only obligation was not to cheat by cutting the price. This tacit agreement did not last, as large and financially needy countries (e.g., Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, and Nigeria) did not comply.


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Pricing Strategy

  • Since the 1990s, the OPEC is using an output-fixing strategy, which allocates the production limit for the organization between member countries and have them sell their quota at flexible prices.

  • Saudi Arabia with its large reserves and production capacity has been the balancing factor in making this strategy succeed.


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Pricing Strategy

  • With the growth of the independent exporters (e.g., Norway, UK, Mexico), the OPEC is said to be a "residual producer" rather than its traditional role of a "price leader"

  • The market price is determined by the "global demand" and "non-OPEC” supply. At this price, there is no "residual" demand. As the price falls below this price, the market share of the OPEC will rise at the expense of the non-OPEC producers.


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Pricing Alternatives

  • Spot Price: An agreed upon price for a quantity transaction at a given point in time

  • Future Price: An agreed upon price for a quantity transaction at a specified future delivery date (e.g., 3 or 6 months). This type of contract is beneficial to the buyer because delivery is assured, but will be detrimental in case of a price increase


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Pricing Alternatives

  • Option Price: An agreed upon price plus a transaction cost for a quantity transaction at a specified future delivery date. The buyer, however, has no obligation to carry out the transaction and has the option to transfer the contract to a third party. This type of contract will enable the buyer to hedge against unexpected price increases


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Effects of the Oil Rush

Positive Effects:

  • Financing industrial and agricultural development

  • Financing technological advancement

  • Investing in human capital (education, health, and welfare) and social capital (transportation & communication systems)


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Effects of the Oil Rush

Positive Effects:

  • Developing petro & petrochemical industries

  • Creating jobs for domestic and foreign workers

  • Increasing level of income and standard of living

  • Investing in financial and real estate markets of the West

  • Providing aid to needy countries


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Effects of the Oil Rush

Negative Effects:

  • Relying on "dependent" growth and "uneven" development

  • Enhancing government control in economic, social, and political activities

  • Exacerbating individual and regional income and wealth inequality

  • Financing military growth & modernization and greater involvement in regional military conflict


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Effects of the Oil Rush

Negative Effects:

  • Financing international terrorism

  • Using money to influence international politics

  • Failing to achieve industrial diversification and economic development

  • Enhancing corruption, cultural confusion, political rivalry

  • Producing inflation in their and oil importer economies


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Effects of the Oil Rush

Positive Effects vs. Negative Effects:

  • Do the positive effects outweigh the negative effects? Why or why not?


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