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Production costs of global conventional and unconventional petroleum


  • Aguilera, Roberto F.


Concerns about the costs of developing oil and gas from conventional and unconventional formations have led many commentators to assume that increasing prices are in the offing and may be a limiting factor for economic growth. Historically, production costs have fluctuated as influenced by the cost-increasing effects of depletion versus the cost-reducing effects of technological progress. This paper aims to review several methods for assessing current and long-term costs. Despite the uncertainty of such estimation, evidence shows that production costs in the foreseeable future might not increase dramatically and actually could decrease as petroleum development methods improve and additional supplies come online. Recent examples include the commercially viable production of unconventional oil and gas resources that has kept energy prices contained.

Suggested Citation

  • Aguilera, Roberto F., 2014. "Production costs of global conventional and unconventional petroleum," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 134-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:64:y:2014:i:c:p:134-140
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.07.118

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Afees Adebare Salisu & Idris A. Adediran, 2018. "The U.S. Shale Oil Revolution and the Behavior of Commodity Prices," Econometric Research in Finance, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, vol. 3(1), pages 27-53, September.
    2. Wei, Max & Smith, Sarah J. & Sohn, Michael D., 2017. "Experience curve development and cost reduction disaggregation for fuel cell markets in Japan and the US," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 346-357.
    3. Ansari, Dawud & Holz, Franziska, 2019. "Anticipating global energy, climate and policy in 2055: Constructing qualitative and quantitative narratives," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-23.
    4. Danny Harvey, L.D., 2017. "Implications for the floor price of oil of aggressive climate policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 143-153.
    5. Sun, Yongling & Delucchi, Mark A. & Lawell, C.-Y. Cynthia L. & Ogden, Joan M., 2019. "The Producer Surplus Associated with Gasolne Fuel Use in the United States," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt0591r5x3, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    6. Acquah-Andoh, Elijah & Putra, Herdi A. & Ifelebuegu, Augustine O. & Owusu, Andrews, 2019. "Coalbed methane development in Indonesia: Design and economic analysis of upstream petroleum fiscal policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 155-167.
    7. Do, Truong Xuan & Lim, Young-il, 2016. "Techno-economic comparison of three energy conversion pathways from empty fruit bunches," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 307-318.
    8. Emilio Castillo & Roderick Eggert, 2019. "Reconciling Diverging Views on Mineral Depletion: A Modified Cumulative Availability Curve Applied to Copper Resources," Working Papers 2019-02, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    9. Ansari, Dawud, 2017. "OPEC, Saudi Arabia, and the shale revolution: Insights from equilibrium modelling and oil politics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 166-178.
    10. Langer, Lissy & Huppmann, Daniel & Holz, Franziska, 2016. "Lifting the US crude oil export ban: A numerical partial equilibrium analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 258-266.
    11. Mark Jaccard & James Hoffele & Torsten Jaccard, 2018. "Global carbon budgets and the viability of new fossil fuel projects," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 15-28, September.
    12. Ansari, Dawud, 2017. "OPEC, Saudi Arabia, and the shale revolution: Insights from equilibrium modelling and oil politics," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 166-178.
    13. Ritchie, Justin & Dowlatabadi, Hadi, 2017. "Why do climate change scenarios return to coal?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 140(P1), pages 1276-1291.


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