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Hotelling Under Pressure

  • Soren T. Anderson
  • Ryan Kellogg
  • Stephen W. Salant

We show that oil production from existing wells in Texas does not respond to price incentives. Drilling activity and costs, however, do respond strongly to prices. To explain these facts, we reformulate Hotelling's (1931) classic model of exhaustible resource extraction as a drilling problem: firms choose when to drill, but production from existing wells is constrained by reservoir pressure, which decays as oil is extracted. The model implies a modified Hotelling rule for drilling revenues net of costs and explains why production is typically constrained. It also rationalizes regional production peaks and observed patterns of price expectations following demand shocks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20280.

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Date of creation: Jul 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20280
Note: EEE IO
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  1. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
  3. Carol Dahl & Mine Yucel, 1991. "Testing Alternative Hypotheses of Oil Producer Behavior," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 117-138.
  4. Hogan, William W., 1989. "A dynamic putty--semi-putty model of aggregate energy demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 53-69, January.
  5. Robert D. Cairns and Graham A. Davis, 2001. "Adelman's Rule and the Petroleum Firm," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 31-54.
  6. Graham A. Davis & Robert D. Cairns, 1998. "Simple Analytics of Valuing Producing Petroleum Reserves," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 133-142.
  7. Miller, Merton H & Upton, Charles W, 1985. "A Test of the Hotelling Valuation Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 1-25, February.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521331586 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Ryan Kellogg, 2010. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Evidence from Texas Oil Drilling," NBER Working Papers 16541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cairns, Robert D., 2014. "The green paradox of the economics of exhaustible resources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 78-85.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521337465 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Ramcharran, Harri, 2002. "Oil production responses to price changes: an empirical application of the competitive model to OPEC and non-OPEC countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 97-106, March.
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