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Effects of an Increasing Role for Independents on Petroleum Resource Development in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region

Omowumi O. Iledare, Allan G. Pulsipher and Robert H. Baumann

Year: 1995
Volume: Volume16
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No2-3
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Abstract:
Major oil and gas companies are shifting their exploration and production (E&P) investment from the United States to foreign countries. As they do so, smaller companies, "independents," are expected to play a more prominent role in domestic E&P. Within both industry and government circles the apprehension is widespread that such a shift from the majors to the independents will cause domestic oil and gas resources to be developed less aggressively and less efficiently. This paper attempts to discern and quantify differences infirm behavior and success among firms of different sizes (majors, large and small independents) operating on the Gulf of Mexico OCS region. Contrary to conventional thinking, descriptive analysis of data on drilling effort and outcomes on the Gulf of Mexico indicates independents have been both more aggressive and successful than the majors in exploration while the majors have been only moderately more successful than independents in development drilling.



Performance-Based Pricing for Nucleaer Power Plants

Yeon-Koo Che and Geoffrey Rothwell

Year: 1995
Volume: Volume16
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No4-3
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Abstract:
State public utility commissions in the United States have implemented incentive regulations to promote the operating efficiency of nuclear power plants. This paper surveys these incentive programs, focusing on the perfomance-based pricing approach. Our findings suggest that the performance-based price should be set between the electric utility's avoided cost and the marginal cost of generating electricity at the nuclear power plant.



The Total Cost and Measured Performance of Utility-Sponsored Energy Efficiency Programs

Joseph Eto, Edward Vine, Leslie Shown, Richard Sonnenblick, and Chris Payne

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No1-3
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Abstract:
By examining the actual performance of conservation or demand-side management (DSM) programs for ten utilities, Joskow and Marron (1992) have made an important contribution to policy discussions about the wisdom of relying on utilities to improve customer energy efficiency. We use Joskow and Marrons method to analyze twenty utility commercial lighting programs and, like Joskow and Marron, find wide variations in industry reporting practices and savings evaluation methods. We extend the method by systematically accounting for several of the most important sources of variation and comment on how they influence total program costs. Our accounting also allows us to relate remaining program cost variations to the program sizes and the electric supply costs avoided by the programs. We draw qualified, yet affirmative, conclusions regarding the cost effectiveness of the programs.



System Average Rates and Management Efficiency: A Statistical Benchmark Study of U.S. Investor-Owned Electric Utilities

Ernst R. Berndt, Roy Epstein and Michael J. Doane

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No3-1
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Abstract:
Proposals to restructure electric utilities have heightened interest in understanding what factors contribute to the variation in system average rates (SARs) across utilities. Direct comparisons of utilities' average rates have been used to assess management performance and the possibility of using mandatory restructuring to reduce rates. However, direct rate comparisons can lead to highly unreliable conclusions because they ignore the wide variety of regional, economic, and regulatory factors that affect rates across utilities. This paper presents a statistical benchmark study of SARs using 1984-93 data on 99 U.S. investor-owned utilities. The model is applied to evaluate the electric rates of three California investor-owned utilities. We find electric rates are affected to a large extent by factors outside the direct and immediate control of management. Controlling for these effects, there is no evidence that these California utilities, which have relatively high system average rates, suffer from poor management performance.



The Performance of the U.S. Market for Independent Electricity Generation

G. Alan Comnes, Edward P. Kahn and Tim N. Belden

Year: 1996
Volume: Volume17
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol17-No3-2
View Abstract

Abstract:
We examine recent evidence on the economic performance of the U.S. independent electricity generation market. A sample of power purchase contracts for 26 independent power facilities is used as the basis of this assessment. The contracts were executed in various years between 1987-94. We describe qualitative features of the contracts, including dispatchability and allocation of fuel price risk. We standardize the price formulas of the contract sample and conduct a simple statistical analysis. Because of residual price variation and an indication that buyer willingness-to-pay is highly correlated with price, we conclude that bulk power sold by independent power producers is a heterogeneous product, and evidence for competition in market prices is weak.



Econometric Benchmarking of Cost Performance: The Case of U.S. Power Distributors

Mark Newton Lowry, Lullit Getachew, and David Hovde

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-No3-4
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Abstract:
Benchmarking of cost efficiency has growing use in energy utility regulation. The state of the art has been limited in many countries by the small size of available national data sets and poor data on capital cost. Data available in the United States place fewer constraints on benchmarking methods. This paper develops an econometric cost benchmarking model for power distribution that is based on U.S. data. The model can address total cost and its major components. Numerous cost drivers are identified. Statistical tests of efficiency hypotheses are performed. The cost performances of utilities are compared to the industry norm. The suitability of the alternative frontier standard in regulatory applications is discussed.



Valuation of International Oil Companies

Petter Osmundsen, Frank Asche, Bard Misund, and Klaus Mohn

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No3-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
According to economic theory, exploration and development of new oil and gas fields should respond positively to increasing petroleum prices. But since the late 1990s, stock market analysts have focused strongly on short-term accounting return measures, like RoACE , for benchmarking and valuation of international oil and gas companies. Consequently, exaggerated capital discipline among oil and gas companies may have reduced their willingness to invest for future reserves and production growth. Based on panel data for 14 international oil and gas companies for the period 1990-2003, we seek to establish econometric relations between market valuation on one hand, and simple financial and operational indicators on the other. Our findings do not support the general perception of RoACE as an important valuation metric in the oil and gas industry. We find that the variation in company valuations is mainly explained by the oil price, oil and gas production, and to some extent reserve replacement.



Electricity Transmission Pricing and Performance-based Regulation

Ingo Vogelsang

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No4-5
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Abstract:
Performance-based regulation (PBR) is influenced by the Bayesian and non-Bayesian incentive mechanisms. While Bayesian incentives are impractical for direct implementation, the insights from their properties can be combined with practical non-Bayesian mechanisms for application to transmission pricing. This combination suggests an approach based on the distinction between ultra-short, short and long periods. Ultra-short periods are marked by real-time pricing of point-to-point transmission services. Pricing in short periods involves fixed fees and adjustments via price-cap formulas or profit sharing. Productivity-enhancing incentives have to be tempered by long-term commitment considerations, so that profit sharing may dominate pure price caps. Investment incentives require long-term adjustments based on rate-of-return regulation with a �used and useful� criterion.



Climate Policy & Corporate Behavior

Nicola Commins, Seán Lyons, Marc Schiffbauer, and Richard S.J. Tol

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No4-4
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Abstract:
In this paper, we study the impact of energy taxes and the EU ETS on a large number of firms in Europe between 1996 and 2007. Using company level micro-data, we examine how firms in different sectors were affected by environmental policies. Aspects of behavior and performance studied include total factor productivity, employment levels, investment behavior and profitability. On the whole, energy taxes increased total factor productivity and returns to capital but decreased employment, with a mixed effect on investment, for the sectors included in our analysis. However, large sectoral variation is observed, with some industries losing out in terms of productivity and profitability when faced with increased energy taxes, while others benefitted.



Lessons Learned from Electricity Market Liberalization

Paul L. Joskow

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Special Issue #2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-NoSI2-3
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper discusses the lessons learned from electricity sector liberalization over the last 20 years. The attributes of reform models that have exhibited good performance attributes are identified, drawing on empirical analysis of market structure, behavior and performance in many countries. Wholesale and retail market competition and network regulation performance evidence are discussed. Technical, economic, and political challenges to improving the efficiency of what continue to be partial liberalization programs in many countries are considered.




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