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The Future of Oil; Geology Versus Technology

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Listed:
  • Marcelle Chauvet
  • Jack G. Selody
  • Douglas Laxton
  • Michael Kumhof
  • Jaromir Benes
  • Ondrej Kamenik
  • Susanna Mursula

Abstract

We discuss and reconcile two diametrically opposed views concerning the future of world oil production and prices. The geological view expects that physical constraints will dominate the future evolution of oil output and prices. It is supported by the fact that world oil production has plateaued since 2005 despite historically high prices, and that spare capacity has been near historic lows. The technological view of oil expects that higher oil prices must eventually have a decisive effect on oil output, by encouraging technological solutions. It is supported by the fact that high prices have, since 2003, led to upward revisions in production forecasts based on a purely geological view. We present a nonlinear econometric model of the world oil market that encompasses both views. The model performs far better than existing empirical models in forecasting oil prices and oil output out of sample. Its point forecast is for a near doubling of the real price of oil over the coming decade. The error bands are wide, and reflect sharply differing judgments on ultimately recoverable reserves, and on future price elasticities of oil demand and supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelle Chauvet & Jack G. Selody & Douglas Laxton & Michael Kumhof & Jaromir Benes & Ondrej Kamenik & Susanna Mursula, 2012. "The Future of Oil; Geology Versus Technology," IMF Working Papers 12/109, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Virginia Di Nino & Ivan Faiella, 2013. "The �new� non-conventional hydrocarbons: the solution to the energy conundrum?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 205, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. James D. Hamilton, 2014. "The Changing Face of World Oil Markets," NBER Working Papers 20355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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).
    6. Susanne Peters & Kirsten Westphal, 2013. "Global energy supply: scale, perception and the return to geopolitics," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Energy Security, chapter 5, pages 92-114 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Bentley, Roger & Bentley, Yongmei, 2015. "Explaining the price of oil 1971–2014 : The need to use reliable data on oil discovery and to account for ‘mid-point’ peak," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 880-890.
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    9. Martin de Wit & Matthew Kuperus Heun & Douglas J Crookes, 2013. "An overview of salient factors, relationships and values to support integrated energy-economic systems dynamic modelling," Working Papers 02/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    10. Glynn, James & Chiodi, Alessandro & Gargiulo, Maurizio & Deane, J.P. & Bazilian, Morgan & Gallachóir, Brian Ó, 2014. "Energy Security Analysis: The case of constrained oil supply for Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 312-325.
    11. Dahl, Roy Endré & Lorentzen, Sindre & Oglend, Atle & Osmundsen, Petter, 2017. "Pro-cyclical petroleum investments and cost overruns in Norway," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 68-78.
    12. Jan Anne Annema & Hugo Priemus, 2013. "Mega-projects: new challenges to cope with climate change and energy transition," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Mega-Projects, chapter 18, pages 398-417 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    14. Benjamin Beckers & Samya Beidas-Strom, 2015. "Forecasting the Nominal Brent Oil Price with VARs—One Model Fits All?," IMF Working Papers 15/251, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Capellán-Pérez, Iñigo & Mediavilla, Margarita & de Castro, Carlos & Carpintero, Óscar & Miguel, Luis Javier, 2014. "Fossil fuel depletion and socio-economic scenarios: An integrated approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 641-666.
    16. Michael Kumhof & Dirk V Muir, 2012. "Oil and the World Economy; Some Possible Futures," IMF Working Papers 12/256, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Chavez-Rodriguez, Mauro F. & Szklo, Alexandre & de Lucena, Andre Frossard Pereira, 2015. "Analysis of past and future oil production in Peru under a Hubbert approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 140-151.
    18. Chapman, Ian, 2014. "The end of Peak Oil? Why this topic is still relevant despite recent denials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 93-101.
    19. Bumsoo Lee & Yongsung Lee, 2013. "Complementary Pricing and Land Use Policies: Does It Lead to Higher Transit Use?," Journal of the American Planning Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 79(4), pages 314-328, October.
    20. Voudouris, Vlasios & Matsumoto, Ken'ichi & Sedgwick, John & Rigby, Robert & Stasinopoulos, Dimitrios & Jefferson, Michael, 2014. "Exploring the production of natural gas through the lenses of the ACEGES model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 124-133.

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