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The Efficient Use Of Multiple Sources Of A Nonrenewable Resource Under Supply Cost Uncertainty

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  • Gérard Gaudet
  • Pierre Lasserre

Abstract

Uncertainties as to future supply costs of nonrenewable natural resources, such as oil and gas, raise the issue of the choice of supply sources. In a perfectly deterministic world, an efficient use of multiple sources of supply requires that any given market exhausts the supply it can draw from a low cost source before moving on to a higher cost one; supply sources should be exploited in strict sequence of increasing marginal cost, with a high cost source being left untouched as long as a less costly source is available. We find that this may not be the efficient thing to do in a stochastic world. We show that there exist conditions under which it can be efficient to use a risky supply source in order to conserve a cheaper non risky source. The benefit of doing this comes from the fact that it leaves open the possibility of using it instead of the risky source in the event the latter’s future cost conditions suddenly deteriorate. There are also conditions under which it will be efficient to use a more costly non risky source while a less costly risky source is still available. The reason is that this conserves the less costly risky source in order to use it in the event of a possible future drop in its cost. L’incertitude sur le coût futur d’une ressource non renouvelable telle le pétrole ou le gaz pose la question du choix des sources d’approvisionnement. Dans un monde déterministe, l’utilisation efficace de sources multiples exige que tout marché épuise une source de coût relativement faible avant de passer à une source de coût plus élevé; l’utilisation des sources d’approvisionnement doit se faire strictement par ordre de coût marginal croissant; on ne touchera à aucune source de coût élevé tant qu’existe une source moins coûteuse. Nous montrons que cette règle n’est pas forcément efficace en univers stochastique. Il existe des conditions sous lesquelles il peut être efficace de recourir à une source risquée pour conserver u

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 245-258

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:52:y:2011:i:1:p:245-258

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  1. Amigues, J-P & Favard, P & Gaudet, G & Moreaux, M, 1996. "On the Optimal Order of Natural Resource Use When the Capacity of the Inexhaustible Substitute is Limited," Cahiers de recherche 9628, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Gerard Gaudet & Michel Moreaux & Stephen W. Salant, 2001. "Intertemporal Depletion of Resource Sites by Spatially Distributed Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1149-1159, September.
  3. Kemp, Murray C & Long, Ngo Van, 1980. "On Two Folk Theorems Concerning the Extraction of Exhaustible Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 663-73, April.
  4. Hartwick, John M. & Kemp, Murray C. & Van Long, Ngo, 1986. "Set-up costs and theory of exhaustible resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 212-224, September.
  5. Hillman, Arye L & Long, Ngo Van, 1983. "Pricing and Depletion of an Exhaustible Resource When There Is Anticipation of Trade Disruption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 215-33, May.
  6. Bergstrom, Clas & Loury, Glenn C & Persson, Mats, 1985. "Embargo Threats and the Management of Emergency Reserves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 26-42, February.
  7. Long, Ngo Van, 1975. "Resource extraction under the uncertainty about possible nationalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 42-53, February.
  8. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Weiner, Robert J., 1989. "Dynamic policy coordination: Stockpiling for energy security," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 9-22, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Benchekroun, Hassan & Halsema, Alex & Withagen, Cees, 2010. "When additional resource stocks reduce welfare," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 109-114, January.
  2. Julien Daubanes & Pierre Lasserre, 2012. "Non-Renewable Resource Supply: Substitution Effect, Compensation Effect, and All That," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-28, CIRANO.
  3. paunic, alida, 2009. "Some additional thoughts about renewables in Canada," MPRA Paper 13163, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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