The oil market economics 331b
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The Oil Market Economics 331b. 1. Basics of oil regulation 2. The integrated world oil market. Major Themes. Standard themes of US oil policy The bathtub model of the Oil Market Some simple econometrics of the law of one price Implications for Oil Policy. Policy Themes of the Oil Market.

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The Oil Market Economics 331b

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The oil market economics 331b

The Oil MarketEconomics 331b

1. Basics of oil regulation2. The integrated world oil market


Major themes

Major Themes

  • Standard themes of US oil policy

  • The bathtub model of the Oil Market

  • Some simple econometrics of the law of one price

  • Implications for Oil Policy


Policy themes of the oil market

Policy Themes of the Oil Market

  • We should reduce our oil dependence on hostile or unstable regimes and limit oil imports to secure sources like Mexico.

  • Protecting oil sources is so important as to justify war.

  • We can use oil sanctions to penalize unfriendly regimes.

  • We need a carbon tax to reduce oil imports.

  • Reducing oil imports will have major macroeconomic benefits.

  • We have to prevent China from gaining oil concessions in Africa.

  • We need to develop oil in wilderness areas to increase domestic oil.

  • We should expand the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cover more days of imports.


The oil market economics 331b

The world oil market


Basic idea of bathtub model

Basic idea of bathtub model

Oil policy can only be considered in the context of world supply and demand. National policies are effective only to the extent that they contribute to total demands or total supplies.

The reason is that the “law of one price” holds for crude oil.


The law of one price

The “Law of One Price”

The Law of One Price (LOOP) is an economic hypothesis stating that the common-currency price of a standardized commodity should be the same in different markets.

Conditions to hold are (1) homogeneous good, (2) perfect competition, and (2) costless transportation

LOOP is often a justification for efficiency of markets (efficient market hypothesis in finance and classical macroeconomics)

Algebra

Have two markets (1 and 2) and two prices (p1 and p2).

They are linked together by arbitrage:

p1(t) = p2(t) + ε(t)

Where ε(t) is small and represents generalized transportation costs (e.g., transport, insurance, brokerage, …).


Failure of law of one price all consumer prices

Failure of Law of One Price: All Consumer Prices


The oil market economics 331b

Pretty good fit for wheat prices

John Baffes, “Some Further Evidence on the Law of One Price: The Law of One Price Still Holds,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1991


Loop and stock prices

LOOP and stock prices


Loop and house prices us 1987 2010

LOOP and house prices US, 1987-2010


The oil market economics 331b

Prices of Crude Oil in 31 Regional Markets Worldwide

Source: EIA primarily from Platts.


Loop and th e world oil market n 18 169

LOOP and the world oil market (n=18,169)

Regression: ln[p1(t)] = α+β ln[pbenchmark(t)] + other things + ε(t)


Speed of adjustment test

Speed of adjustment test

Speed of adjustment asks how quickly a market adjusts to disequilibrium.

For example: oil v. autos v. houses v. lumber.

This shows the unusual integration of world oil market


Speed of adjustment test persistence of disequilibrium

Speed of adjustment test: persistence of disequilibrium


The oil market economics 331b

So why are we wasting all this time on an esoteric economic theory about spatial arbitrage, blah, blah, blah?

The reason is that whether the LOOP holds for oil FUNDAMENTALLY changes your view of oil policy.


Policy themes of the oil market1

Policy Themes of the Oil Market

  • We should reduce our oil dependence on hostile or unstable regimes and limit oil imports to secure sources like Mexico.

  • Protecting oil sources is so important as to justify war.

  • We can use oil sanctions to penalize unfriendly regimes.

  • We need a carbon tax to reduce oil imports.

  • Reducing oil imports will have major macroeconomic benefits.

  • We have to prevent China from gaining oil concessions in Africa.

  • We need to develop oil in wilderness areas to increase domestic oil.

  • We should expand the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cover more days of imports.

    These are all wrong: The vulnerabilities are determined by the world oil market and not by our imports.


Examples

Examples

  • Secure sources

  • Sanctions

  • Strategic petroleum reserve

  • China winning oil concessions in Sudan

  • Inflation and other macro issues.


Example of insecure sources

Example of insecure sources

Limit imports to “secure sources” in region A.

Limit import from region B.

But then region B exports to region C which was previously importing from region A.

Net impact: very small increase in global transportation costs (perhaps $0.05 per barrel out of $100).

How about sanctions?

Same story.


Initial situation

Initial situation

10

200

100

100

ROW

US


Sanction

Sanction

10

x

200

100

100

ROW

US


Result

Result

200-10

100+10

100+10

ROW

US


Sanctions and the price of libyan oil

Sanctions and the price of Libyan oil


E econometrics of sanctions

EEconometrics of sanctions


But this doesn t apply everywhere

But this doesn’t apply everywhere…

  • Other energy sources (natural gas in Europe)

  • To situations of war (World War II in Germany) or stealing oil resources (Iraq seizing Kuwaiti oil field in 1990).

  • Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned with oil consumption (for many reasons to be discussed starting next week).


Appropriate policies for oil in the integrated world market

Appropriate Policies for Oil in the Integrated World Market

Objectives:

  • Oil policy can only be rational if externalities are internalized (pollution, global warming, etc.)

  • Given 1, oil prices should be low, stable, and sustainable.

    Policies (assuming 1 is met):

  • Encourage production everywhere (no domestic subsidies)

  • Discourage consumption everywhere (not just at home), particularly with respect to subsidies.


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