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The Hotelling Principle: Autobahn or Cul de Sac?

G. C. Watkins

Year: 1992
Volume: Volume 13
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol13-No1-1
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Abstract:
The economics of relations between prices and resource stocks has been dominated by the Hotelling Principle. But seemingly little attention has been given to the Principle by the oil and gas industry itself. In this paper the Principle is appraised, some new empirical results based on the value of oil and gas reserves sales are introduced, models which relax more of the Hotelling assumptions are reviewed, and the industry milieu in the context of a Hotelling Style framework is discussed. The Principle is seen as affording fundamental theoretical insights, but is not found to cope well with industry realities.



The Hotelling Principle and In-Ground Values of Oil Reserves: Why the Principle Over-Predicts Actual Values

Stephen L. McDonald

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No3-1
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Abstract:
Two articles previously published in this Journal (Watkins 1992 and Adelman 1993) reported that the valuation version of the Hotelling Principle over-predicts in-ground values of oil and gas reserves by a factor of approximately two. This paper shows these results are to be expected once it is understood that: (1) the Principle assumes individual operators have the effective freedom to schedule extraction rates so as to make net prices rise at the rate of discount, regardless of the course of gross (wellhead) prices; and (2) the long-prevailing system of regulating oil well spacing and extraction rates in the United States and Canada, designed to deal with the common pool problem, effectively denies operators that freedom. The discrepancy between actual in-ground values and those predicted by the Hotelling Principle suggests the benefits to be had by substituting compulsory reservoir unitization cum manager freedom for the current system of regulation.



Reserve Prices and Mineral Resource Theory

M.A. Adelman and G.C. Watkins

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-NoSI-1
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Abstract:
NOTE. Gordon Campbell Watkins was my friend for forty years. He freed me, as the Scots poet says, from many a blunder and foolish notion. We joined forces twenty years ago, when the basic data on hydrocarbon scarcity were starting to disappear. (Adelman and Watkins, 1996). A revised updated version was given in 2002 at an IAEE session in Prague. The last paper of our last effort follows, delayed by his death and my ailments. We are indebted to the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT for continuing aid. Without Therese Henderson and Jeanette Ehrman, the work could not have been completed. Errors in this final revision are mine alone.





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