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The Incidence of an Oil Glut: Who Benefits from Cheap Crude Oil in the Midwest?

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  • Severin Borenstein
  • Ryan Kellogg

Abstract

Beginning in early 2011, crude oil production in the U.S. Midwest and Canada surpassed the pipeline capacity to transport it to the Gulf Coast where it could access the world oil market. As a result, the U.S. “benchmark” crude oil price in Cushing, Oklahoma, declined substantially relative to internationally traded oil. In this paper, we study how this development affected prices for refined products, focusing on the markets for motor gasoline and diesel. We find that the relative decrease in Midwest crude oil prices did not pass through to wholesale gasoline and diesel prices. This result is consistent with evidence that the marginal gallon of fuel in the Midwest is still imported from coastal locations. Our findings imply that investments in new pipeline infrastructure between the Midwest and the Gulf Coast, such as the southern segment of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, will not raise gasoline prices in the Midwest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18127.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18127

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  1. Soren T. Anderson & Ryan Kellogg & James M. Sallee, 2011. "What Do Consumers Believe About Future Gasoline Prices?," NBER Working Papers 16974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Severin Borenstein & A. Colin Cameron, 1992. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," NBER Working Papers 4138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chen, Li-Hsueh & Finney, Miles & Lai, Kon S., 2005. "A threshold cointegration analysis of asymmetric price transmission from crude oil to gasoline prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 233-239, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Alquist, Ron & Guénette, Justin-Damien, 2014. "A blessing in disguise: The implications of high global oil prices for the North American market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 49-57.
  2. Lucas Davis & Catherine Hausman, 2014. "The Value of Transmission in Electricity Markets: Evidence from a Nuclear Power Plant Closure," NBER Working Papers 20186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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