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Oil Industry Structure and Evolving Markets

Joe Roeber

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume 15
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-NoSI-14
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Abstract:
Of all the changes in the oil industry over the past 20 years, the most radical have taken place in the market, and in the formation of prices. These are both a response to and a cause of changes in industry structure. From plannable supplies at relatively stable prices, companies have had to learn to handle short term supplies in condition of extreme volatility. Management of the resulting price risk has become a central role of the companies' supply departments, and the use of paper markets (forward, futures and derivatives) has become an integral part of price formation. It is not impossible that the changes would be reversed, if the conditions that brought them into being-surplus production and de-integrated supply structures-were reversed in conditions of scarcity, but it is highly unlikely. Far more likely, is that risk management and the use of paper markets will increase in importance.



Understanding the Oil Industry: Economics as a Help or a Hindrance

Paul Stevens

Year: 1995
Volume: Volume16
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No3-6
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Abstract:
This paper examines how economics has contributed to an understanding of the international oil industry. After considering why knowledge of the oil industry is a subject worthy of interest, the paper develops a stylized version of economic methodology. It then tries to apply this to the oil industry. However, the paper observes that in the past, because of secrecy and lack of data, there have been serious problems which inhibit the use of standard methodology. The result has been a tendency among some economists to apply untried theory to the industry with damaging results. The paper then considers how other economists have adopted a different approach and in doing so, have made significant contributions. The paper concludes by considering future, avenues for the further application of economic analysis to the oil industry.





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