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Will oil prices decline over the long run?

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  • di Mauro, Filippo
  • Kaufmann, Robert K.
  • Karadeloglou, Pavlos

Abstract

At present, oil markets appear to be behaving in a fashion similar to that in the late 1970s and early 1980s when oil prices rose sharply over an extended period. Furthermore, like at that time, analysts are split on whether such increases will persist or reverse, and if so by how much. The present paper argues that the similarities between the two episodes are not as strong as they might appear at first sight, and that the likelihood of sharp reversals in prices is not particularly great. There are a number of reasons in support of the view that it is unlikely that the first two decades of this century will mimic the last two decades of the previous century. First, oil demand is likely to grow significantly in line with strong economic growth in non-OECD countries. Second, on the supply side, OPEC is likely to enhance its control over markets over the next two decades, as supply increases in newly opened areas will only partially offset declining rates of production in other geologically mature non-OPEC oil regions. Moreover, while concerns about climate change will spur global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, these efforts are not expected to reduce oil demand. Finally, although there is much talk about alternative fuels, few of these are economically viable at the prices currently envisioned, and given the structural impediments, there is a reduced likelihood that the market will be able to generate sufficient quantities of these alternative fuels over the forecast horizon. The above factors imply that oil prices are likely to continue to exceed the USD 70 to USD 90 range over the long term. JEL Classification: Q41, Q42, Q43

Suggested Citation

  • di Mauro, Filippo & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Karadeloglou, Pavlos, 2008. "Will oil prices decline over the long run?," Occasional Paper Series 98, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:200898
    Note: 437559
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    3. Matthieu Bussière & Emilia Pérez‐Barreiro & Roland Straub & Daria Taglioni, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34, pages 826-852, May.
    4. Ritter, Raymond, 2009. "Transnational governance in global finance: the principles for stable capital flows and fair debt restructuring in emerging markets," Occasional Paper Series 103, European Central Bank.
    5. Hubrich, Kirstin & Karlsson, Tohmas, 2010. "Trade consistency in the context of the Eurosystem projection exercises - an overview," Occasional Paper Series 108, European Central Bank.
    6. Vitale, Giovanni & Moutot, Philippe, 2009. "Monetary policy strategy in a global environment," Occasional Paper Series 106, European Central Bank.
    7. Sturm, Michael & Gurtner, François & González Alegre, Juan, 2009. "Fiscal policy challenges in oil-exporting countries: a review of key issues," Occasional Paper Series 104, European Central Bank.
    8. Robert Anderton & Alessandro Galesi & Marco Lombardi & Filippo di Mauro, 2010. "Key Elements of Global Inflation," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.),Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. Le Breton, Gwenaël & Be Duc, Louis, 2009. "Flow-of-funds analysis at the ECB: framework and applications," Occasional Paper Series 105, European Central Bank.
    10. Cheun, Samuel & von Köppen-Mertes, Isabel & Weller, Benedict, 2009. "The collateral frameworks of the Eurosystem, the Federal Reserve System and the Bank of England and the financial market turmoil," Occasional Paper Series 107, European Central Bank.
    11. Clostermann, Jörg & Keis, Nikolaus & Seitz, Franz, 2010. "Short-term oil models before and during the financial market crisis," Arbeitsberichte – Working Papers 18, Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI).
    12. Poloni, Paolo & Agresti, Anna Maria & Baudino, Patrizia, 2008. "The ECB and IMF indicators for the macro-prudential analysis of the banking sector: a comparison of the two approaches," Occasional Paper Series 99, European Central Bank.
    13. Kennickell, Arthur & Fitzpatrick, Trevor & Ehrmann, Michael & Bonci, Riccardo & Museux, Jean-Marc & Honkkila, Juha & Vilmunen, Jouko & Herrala, Risto & Komprej, Irena & Jeran, Matjaž & Geršak, Uroš & , 2009. "Survey data on household finance and consumption: research summary and policy use," Occasional Paper Series 100, European Central Bank.
    14. Claudio Dicembrino & Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo, 2012. "The Fundamental and Speculative Components of the Oil Spot Price: A Real Option Value Approach," CEIS Research Paper 229, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 18 Apr 2012.
    15. Köhler-Ulbrich, Petra & Asimakopoulos, Yannis & Doyle, Nicola & Magono, Ruth & Zachary, Marie-Denise & Walko, Zoltan & Stoess, Elmar & Kok, Christoffer & Wagner, Karin & Valckx, Nico & Martínez Pagés,, 2009. "Housing finance in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 101, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alternative fuels; climate change policy; oil demand; oil prices; oil supply;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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