IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2011.100.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why do Firms Hold Oil Stockpiles?

Author

Listed:
  • Charles F. Mason

    (H.A. True Chair in Petroleum and Natural Gas Economics, Department of Economics & Finance, University of Wyoming)

Abstract

Persistent and significant privately-held stockpiles of crude oil have long been an important empirical regularity in the United States. Such stockpiles would not rationally be held in a traditional Hotelling-style model. How then can the existence of these inventories be explained? In the presence of sufficiently stochastic prices, oil extracting firms have an incentive to hold inventories to smooth production over time. An alternative explanation is related to a speculative motive - firms hold stockpiles intending to cash in on periods of particularly high prices. I argue that empirical evidence supports the former but not the latter explanation.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles F. Mason, 2011. "Why do Firms Hold Oil Stockpiles?," Working Papers 2011.100, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.100
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/201211795354NDL2011-100.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Santos Silva, J. M. C. & Cardoso, F. N., 2001. "The Chow-Lin method using dynamic models," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 269-280, April.
    2. Slade, Margaret E., 1988. "Grade selection under uncertainty: Least cost last and other anomalies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 189-205, June.
    3. Mason, Charles F., 2001. "Nonrenewable Resources with Switching Costs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 65-81, July.
    4. Dixit, Avinash, 1993. "Choosing among alternative discrete investment projects under uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 265-268.
    5. Pindyck, Robert S, 1980. "Uncertainty and Exhaustible Resource Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1203-1225, December.
    6. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-277, March.
    7. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
    8. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
    9. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
    10. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    11. Andrew B. Abel, 1985. "Inventories, Stock-Outs and Production Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 283-293.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Petroleum Economics; Stochastic Dynamic Optimization;

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.100. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.