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Prepress Content: The following article is a preprint of a scientific paper that has completed the peer-review process and been accepted for publication within The Energy Journal.

While the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) makes every effort to ensure the veracity of the material and the accuracy of the data therein, IAEE is not responsible for the citing of this content until the article is actually printed in a final version of The Energy Journal. For example, preprinted articles are often moved from issue to issue affecting page numbers, and actual volume and issue numbers. Care should be given when citing Energy Journal preprint articles.

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The Energy Journal
Volume 41, Number 1

Effects of Ownership and Business Portfolio on Production in the Oil and Gas Industry

Binlei Gong

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.bgon
View Abstract

The Shale Revolution and the two oil crises have overwhelmingly reshaped the petroleum industry in the last decade. Heterogeneity across companies is also a big concern as many multi-product (oil and gas) and multi-segment (upstream and downstream) firms exist, both state-owned and privately-owned. Therefore, a varying coefficient model is introduced to capture the effects of time, ownership, and business portfolio on both productivity and input elasticities to closely observe the fundamental transition, which is further interpreted using decomposition equations. The shape of the production function is indeed firm- and time-variant, which confirms the transition of the industry and the necessity of using the varying coefficient model. The average productivity achieved tremendous growth after the 2007-2009 financial crisis but lost momentum following the 2014 price crash. Finally, privately-owned, gas production and downstream activities are more productive than state-owned, oil production and upstream activities, respectively. Some policy implications are also discussed.

Did U.S. Consumers Respond to the 2014-2015 Oil Price Shock? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey

Patrick Alexander and Louis Poirier

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.pale
View Abstract

The impact of oil price shocks on the U.S. economy is a topic of considerable debate. In this paper, we examine the response of U.S. consumers to the 2014-2015 negative oil price shock using representative survey data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. We propose a difference-in-difference identification strategy based on two factors, vehicle ownership and gasoline reliance, which generate variation in exposure to oil price shocks across consumers. Our findings suggest that exposed consumers significantly increased their spending relative to non-exposed consumers when oil prices fell, and that the average marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of gasoline savings was above 1. Across products, we find that consumers increased spending especially on transportation goods and non-essential items.

The Effects of Fuel Prices, Environmental Regulations, and Other Factors on U.S. Coal Production, 2008-2016

John Coglianese, Todd D. Gerarden, and James H. Stock

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.jcog
View Abstract

We decompose the decline in coal production from 2008 to 2016 into the contributions of several sources. In particular, we estimate the effects of declining natural gas prices and the introduction of new environmental regulations along with several other factors, using both monthly state-level data and annual information on coal plant closings. We estimate that the declining price of natural gas relative to coal is responsible for 92 percent of the total decline in coal production over this period and that environmental regulations account for an additional six percent, with other factors making small and offsetting contributions.

On Entry Cost Dynamics in Australia's National Electricity Market

Paul Simshauser and Joel Gilmore

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.psim
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In theory, well designed electricity markets should deliver an efficient mix of technologies at least-cost. But energy market theories and energy market modelling are based upon equilibrium analysis and in practice electricity markets can be off-equilibrium for extended periods. Near-term spot and forward contract prices can and do fall well below, or substantially exceed, relevant entry cost benchmarks and associated long run equilibrium prices. However, given sufficient time higher prices, on average or during certain periods, create incentives for new entrant plant which in turn has the effect of capping longer-dated average spot price expectations at the estimated cost of the relevant new entrant technologies. In this article, we trace generalised new entrant benchmarks and their relationship to spot price outcomes in Australia's National Electricity Market over the 20-year period to 2018; from coal, to gas and more recently to variable renewables plus firming, notionally provided by - or shadow priced at - the carrying cost of an Open Cycle Gas Turbine. This latest entry benchmark relies implicitly, but critically, on the gains from exchange in organised spot markets, using existing spare capacity. As aging coal plant exit, gains from exchange may gradually diminish with 'notional firming' increasingly and necessarily being met by physical firming. At this point, the benchmark must once again move to a new technology set...

Pipeline Capacity Rationing and Crude Oil Price Differentials: The Case of Western Canada

W.D. Walls and Xiaoli Zheng

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.1.wwal
View Abstract

This paper examines the impact of pipeline capacity constraints on the discount of Canadian oil prices relative to U.S. benchmark oil prices. Using a panel of monthly data for Canadian oil exporting pipelines, we estimate that price differentials between U.S. markets and Western Canada would increase by 3.6% for 1% increase in pipeline capacity constraints. Pipeline capacity constraints in Canada have resulted in an average loss of $5.53 for every barrel of crude oil exported to the U.S. between 2009 and 2017. In 2015 and 2016, the losses due to insufficient pipeline capacity were equivalent to 3%-5% of the Canadian oil and gas industry's sales revenue and 69%-102% of its royalty payments to provincial governments. Western Canadian oil refiners and refined products' consumers benefit from the depressed crude oil prices. However, the total gains captured by local refiners and consumers are much smaller than the losses of the upstream sector.