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The Impact of the Shale Oil Revolution on U.S. Oil and Gasoline Prices

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  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

This article examines how the shale oil revolution has shaped the evolution of U.S. crude oil and gasoline prices. It puts the increased production of shale oil into historical perspective, highlights uncertainties about future shale oil production, and cautions against the view that the United States will become the next Saudi Arabia. It then reviews how the ban on U.S. crude oil exports, capacity constraints in refining and transporting crude oil, and the regional fragmentation of the global market for crude oil after 2010 have affected U.S. oil and gasoline prices. In particular, the article discusses the reasons for the persistent wedge between U.S. and global crude oil prices in recent years, explains why domestic oil trading at a discount has not lowered U.S. gasoline prices, and discusses the role of shale oil in causing the 2014 oil price decline. Finally, the article explores the implications of the shale oil revolution for the U.S. economy and explains why increased shale oil production is unlikely to create a boom in oil-intensive U.S. manufacturing industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Kilian, 2016. "The Impact of the Shale Oil Revolution on U.S. Oil and Gasoline Prices," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 185-205.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:10:y:2016:i:2:p:185-205.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/reep/rew001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belu Mănescu, Cristiana & Nuño, Galo, 2015. "Quantitative effects of the shale oil revolution," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 855-866.
    2. Lutz Kilian, 2017. "The Impact of the Fracking Boom on Arab Oil Producers," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 6).
    3. James D. Hamilton, 2009. "Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(1 (Spring), pages 215-283.
    4. Severin Borenstein and Ryan Kellogg, 2014. "The Incidence of an Oil Glut: Who Benefits from Cheap Crude Oil in the Midwest?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    5. repec:clh:resear:v:6:y:2013:i:8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/697203 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lutz Kilian, 2014. "Oil Price Shocks: Causes and Consequences," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 133-154, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Soren T. Anderson & Ryan Kellogg & Stephen W. Salant, 2018. "Hotelling under Pressure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(3), pages 984-1026.
    10. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2016. "Understanding the Decline in the Price of Oil since June 2014," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 131-158.
    11. Hunt Allcott & Daniel Keniston, 2014. "Dutch Disease or Agglomeration? The Local Economic Effects of Natural Resource Booms in Modern America," NBER Working Papers 20508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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