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Extracting Several Resource Deposits of Unknown Size: Optimal Order

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  • Murray C. Kemp
  • Ngo Van Long

Abstract

Oil companies often announce revised estimates of their reserves. This indicates that stock uncertainty is a prevalent feature of natural resource industries. In this paper we consider the multi-deposit case where resource extraction produces information about the size of reserves. We show that the optimal order of extracting resource deposits depends both on the informational characteristics of the extraction process and on the extraction costs. Differences in extraction costs, a key consideration highlighted in Solow and Wan (1976), must be balanced against the relative value of information generated by the extraction of various deposits. Our model supplies an explanation of why high cost deposits are sometimes extracted when lower cost deposits have not been exhausted. Les compagnies pétrolières révisent souvent les chiffres de leurs réserves, ce qui indique que l'incertitude concernant les stocks est prévalente. Nous considérons le cas où l'extraction donne des informations sur la taille des réserves. Nous prouvons que l'ordre optimal d'exploitation des stocks dépend des propriétés du processus d'extraction concernant la révélation d'information et des coûts. La différence des coûts, qui est une considération importante dans Solow and Wan (1976), doit être balancée contre la valeur informative des réserves. Notre modèle fournit une explication du fait que les réserves plus coûteuses sont parfois exploitées avant l'épuisement des réserves moins coûteuses.

Suggested Citation

  • Murray C. Kemp & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "Extracting Several Resource Deposits of Unknown Size: Optimal Order," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-10, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2007s-10
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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2007s-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kumar, Ramesh C., 2005. "How to eat a cake of unknown size: A reconsideration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 408-421, September.
    2. Hartwick, John M, 1978. "Exploitation of Many Deposits of an Exhaustible Resource," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 201-217, January.
    3. Hartwick, John M. & Kemp, Murray C. & Van Long, Ngo, 1986. "Set-up costs and theory of exhaustible resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 212-224, September.
    4. Hartwick, John M. & Yeung, David, 1985. "Preference for output price uncertainty by the non-renewable resource extracting firm," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 85-89.
    5. Sanford J. Grossman & Richard E. Kihlstrom & Leonard J. Mirman, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to the Production of Information and Learning By Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 533-547.
    6. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1996. "Accounting for global warming risks: Resource management under event uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1289-1305.
    7. Jean-Pierre Amigues & Ngo Van Long & Michel Moreaux, 2006. "Ressources naturelles, impatience et progrès technique," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(2), pages 185-218.
    8. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Favard, Pascal & Gaudet, Gerard & Moreaux, Michel, 1998. "On the Optimal Order of Natural Resource Use When the Capacity of the Inexhaustible Substitute Is Limited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 153-170, May.
    9. David Levhari & Nissan Liviatan, 1977. "Notes on Hotelling's Economics of Exhaustible Resources," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 177-192, May.
    10. Ramesh C. Kumar, 2002. "How long to eat a cake of unknown size? Optimal time horizon under uncertainty," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 843-853, November.
    11. John M. Hartwick, 1983. "Learning about and Exploiting Exhaustible Resource Deposits of Uncertain Size," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(3), pages 391-410, August.
    12. Glenn C. Loury, 1978. "The Optimal Exploitation of an Unknown Reserve," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 621-636.
    13. Long, Ngo Van, 1976. "Expectation Revision and Optimal Learning in a Foreign Investment Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 247-261, June.
    14. Reed, William J., 1984. "The effects of the risk of fire on the optimal rotation of a forest," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 180-190, June.
    15. Kemp, Murray C & Long, Ngo Van, 1980. "On Two Folk Theorems Concerning the Extraction of Exhaustible Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 663-673, April.
    16. Monica Brezzi & Tze Leung Lai, 2000. "Incomplete Learning from Endogenous Data in Dynamic Allocation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1511-1516, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2010. "Aggressive oil extraction and precautionary saving: Coping with volatility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 421-433, June.
    2. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Do Biofuel Subsidies Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec10-01, International and Development Economics.
    3. Murray C. Kemp & Ngo Van Long, 2009. "Extracting Resource Deposits of Unknown Size: Optimal Order," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 401-421, November.
    4. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Biofuels Subsidies and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2960, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    order of extraction; value of information; uncertainty; ordre d'extraction; valeur de l'information; incertitude;

    JEL classification:

    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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