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Exploration and development of U.S. oil and gas fields, 1955-2002

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  • Boyce, John R.
  • Nøstbakken, Linda

Abstract

We study the exploration and development of oil and gas fields in the U.S. over the period 1955-2002. We make four contributions to explain the economic evolution of the oil and gas industry during this period. First, we derive a testable model of the dynamics of competitive oil and gas field exploration and development. Second, we show how to empirically distinguish Hotelling scarcity effects from effects due to technological change. Third, we test these hypotheses using statewide panel data of exploration and development drilling. We find that the time paths of exploration, development and total wells drilled are dominated by Hotelling scarcity effects. Finally, we offer an explanation for why fixed costs from exploration can make the contracting equilibrium in the mineral rights market efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyce, John R. & Nøstbakken, Linda, 2011. "Exploration and development of U.S. oil and gas fields, 1955-2002," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 891-908, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:6:p:891-908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Osmundsen, Petter & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Skjerpen, Terje, 2012. "Understanding Rig Rates," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012/9, University of Stavanger.
    4. Harry Patria & Vid Adrison, 2015. "Oil Exploration Economics: Empirical Evidence from Indonesian Geological Basins," Economics and Finance in Indonesia, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, vol. 61, pages 196-213, December.
    5. Inge van den Bijgaart & Mauricio Rodriguez, 2020. "Closing Wells; Fossil Exploration and Abandonment in the Energy Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 8453, CESifo.
    6. John R. Boyce & David M. Bruner, 2009. "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Endogenous Property Rights in a Game of Conflict," Working Papers 09-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    7. Cairns, Robert D., 2018. "Stranded oil of Erewhon," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 248-251.
    8. van den Bijgaart, Inge & Rodriguez, Mauricio, 2020. "Closing wells; fossil exploration and abandonment in the energy transition," Working Papers in Economics 789, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Skjerpen, Terje & Storrøsten, Halvor Briseid & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Osmundsen, Petter, 2018. "Modelling and forecasting rig rates on the Norwegian Continental Shelf," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 220-239.
    10. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    11. Sabet, Amir H. & Heaney, Richard, 2015. "Bid-ask spread, information asymmetry and acquisition of oil and gas assets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 77-84.

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