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Tax policy can change the production path: A model of optimal oil extraction in Alaska

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  • Leighty, Wayne
  • Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia

Abstract

We model the economically optimal dynamic oil production decisions for seven production units (fields) on Alaska's North Slope. We use adjustment cost and discount rate to calibrate the model against historical production data, and use the calibrated model to simulate the impact of tax policy on production rate. We construct field-specific cost functions from average cost data and an estimated inverse production function, which incorporates engineering aspects of oil production into our economic modeling. Producers appear to have approximated dynamic optimality. Consistent with prior research, we find that changing the tax rate alone does not change the economically optimal oil production path, except for marginal fields that may cease production. Contrary to prior research, we find that the structure of tax policy can be designed to affect the economically optimal production path, but at a cost in net social benefit.

Suggested Citation

  • Leighty, Wayne & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia, 2012. "Tax policy can change the production path: A model of optimal oil extraction in Alaska," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 759-774.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:759-774
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.11.043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhao, Xu & Luo, Dongkun & Lu, Kun & Wang, Xiaoyu & Dahl, Carol, 2019. "How the removal of producer subsidies influences oil and gas extraction: A case study in the Gulf of Mexico," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 1000-1012.
    2. Reimer, Matthew N. & Guettabi, Mouhcine & Tanaka, Audrey-Loraine, 2017. "Short-run impacts of a severance tax change: Evidence from Alaska," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 448-458.
    3. Yuzran Bustamar & Ian Lange & Elizabeth Van Wie Davis, 2017. "Characteristic of Successful Energy Policy from Politics, Economics, Social and Technological Perspective - a qualitative analysis," Working Papers 2017-10, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    4. Kheiravar, Khaled H, 2019. "Economic and Econometric Analyses of the World Petroleum Industry, Energy Subsidies, and Air Pollution," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt3gj151w9, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.

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    Keywords

    Oil production; Taxation; Alaska;

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