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Risk-Bearing and the Choice of Contract Forms for Oil Exploration and Development

The structure of taxes and fiscal contracts between host countries and foreign companies has major implications for the success of oil development projects. This is because of several key characteristics of such projects: large investment outlays, long lead times to project completion, and long periods of project output and payout. These characteristics usually are coupled with an incomplete sharing of information and technology, and significant differences in the ability of the various parties to bear the risks involved. These characteristics often lead to unstable contracts and, in many cases, to the failure to develop projects that are economically attractive in aggregate terms but unattractive to one or both parties because of uncertainties over sharing project risks and returns.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Exploration and Production; Energy Investment and Finance – Corporate Strategy

JEL Codes:
D24 - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
D92 - Intertemporal Firm Choice: Investment, Capacity, and Financing

Keywords: Oil exploration, Risk, Taxes, Fiscal contracts, Investment

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No1-1

Published in Volume 5, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.