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Oil prices: The role of refinery utilization, futures markets and non-linearities

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  • Kaufmann, Robert K.
  • Dees, Stephane
  • Gasteuil, Audrey
  • Mann, Michael

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that real oil prices are determined in part by refinery capacity, non-linearities in supply conditions, and/or expectations and that observed changes in these variables can account for the rise in prices between 2004 and 2006. Results indicate that the refining sector plays an important role in the recent price increase, but not in the way described by many analysts. The relationship is negative such that higher refinery utilization rates reduce crude oil prices. This effect is associated with shifts in the production of heavy and light grades of crude oil and price spreads between them. Non-linear relationships between OPEC capacity and oil prices as well as conditions on the futures markets also account for changes in real oil prices. Together, these factors allow the model to generate a one-step ahead out-of-sample forecast that performs as well as forecasts implied by far-month contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange and is able to account for much of the $27 rise in crude oil prices between 2004 and 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 2609-2622

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:5:p:2609-2622

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  7. Robert K. Kaufmann, Stephane Dees, Pavlos Karadeloglou and Marcelo Sanchez, 2004. "Does OPEC Matter? An Econometric Analysis of Oil Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 67-90.
  8. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "A Comparison of the Effects of Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks on Output and Inflation in the G7 Countries," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 78-121, 03.
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  10. Robert K. Kaufmann & Cutler J. Cleveland, 2001. "Oil Production in the Lower 48 States: Economic, Geological, and Institutional Determinants," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 27-49.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gronwald, Marc, 2012. "A characterization of oil price behavior — Evidence from jump models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1310-1317.
  2. Chevillon, Guillaume & Rifflart, Christine, 2009. "Physical market determinants of the price of crude oil and the market premium," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 537-549, July.
  3. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Dees, Stephane & Mann, Micheal, 2009. "Horizontal and vertical transmissions in the US oil supply chain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 644-650, February.
  4. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Ullman, Ben, 2009. "Oil prices, speculation, and fundamentals: Interpreting causal relations among spot and futures prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 550-558, July.
  5. Andreas Breitenfellner & Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, 2008. "Crude Oil Prices and the USD/EUR Exchange Rate," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4.
  6. Li, Hong & Xiaowen Lin, Sharon, 2011. "Do emerging markets matter in the world oil pricing system? Evidence of imported crude by China and India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 4624-4630, August.
  7. Kaufmann, Robert K., 2011. "The role of market fundamentals and speculation in recent price changes for crude oil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 105-115, January.
  8. Meyler, Aidan, 2009. "The pass through of oil prices into euro area consumer liquid fuel prices in an environment of high and volatile oil prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 867-881, November.
  9. Silvério, Renan & Szklo, Alexandre, 2012. "The effect of the financial sector on the evolution of oil prices: Analysis of the contribution of the futures market to the price discovery process in the WTI spot market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1799-1808.
  10. Kolodzeij, Marek & Kaufmann, Robert.K., 2014. "Oil demand shocks reconsidered: A cointegrated vector autoregression," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 33-40.

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