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Causality in Crude Oil Prices


  • Hagstromer, Bjorn
  • Wlazlowski, Szymon


The world market of crude oil has three well established benchmarks used for pricing of other crudes: West Texas Intermediate, Europe Brent and Dubai Fateh. The relevance of these are however declining, as the output of the benchmarks is decreasing, and as an increasing share of world crude produced is of worse quality than the benchmarks (pointed out by e.g. Montepeque, 2005). Particularly the segment of medium density, sour crudes is lacking a reliable benchmark. We apply Granger causality tests to study the price dependencies of 32 crude oils empirically. The aim is to establish what crudes are setting the prices and what crudes are just follow the general market trend. The investigation is performed globally as well as for different quality segments, geographical segments and the segments of OPEC and non-OPEC crudes. The results indicate that crude oil price analysts should follow at least four different crudes that are if not benchmarks, at least good price indicators. While the well-established benchmarks WTI and Brent still lead the market, they are not the only crude prices worth paying attention to. In particular, Russian Urals drives global prices in a significant way, and Iran Seri Kerir is a significant price setter within OPEC. Dubai Fateh does not display any significant influence as a price setter. The lack of a reliable benchmark for medium density, sour crudes is thereby confirmed.

Suggested Citation

  • Hagstromer, Bjorn & Wlazlowski, Szymon, 2007. "Causality in Crude Oil Prices," MPRA Paper 1577, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1577

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lin, Sharon Xiaowen & Tamvakis, Michael N., 2004. "Effects of NYMEX trading on IPE Brent Crude futures markets: a duration analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 77-82, January.
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    4. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pershin, Vitaly & Molero, Juan Carlos & de Gracia, Fernando Perez, 2016. "Exploring the oil prices and exchange rates nexus in some African economies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 166-180.
    2. Bertrand Candelon & Marc Joëts & Sessi Tokpavi, 2012. "Testing for crude oil markets globalization during extreme price movements," Post-Print hal-01411687, HAL.
    3. Candelon, Bertrand & Joëts, Marc & Tokpavi, Sessi, 2013. "Testing for Granger causality in distribution tails: An application to oil markets integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 276-285.
    4. Giulietti, Monica & Iregui, Ana María & Otero, Jesús, 2015. "A pair-wise analysis of the law of one price: Evidence from the crude oil market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 39-41.
    5. James Fenske & Igor Zurimendi, 2017. "Oil and ethnic inequality in Nigeria," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 397-420, December.
    6. Jammazi, Rania, 2012. "Oil shock transmission to stock market returns: Wavelet-multivariate Markov switching GARCH approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 430-454.
    7. Ji, Qiang & Fan, Ying, 2016. "Evolution of the world crude oil market integration: A graph theory analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 90-100.
    8. Giulietti, Monica & Iregui, Ana María & Otero, Jesús, 2014. "Crude oil price differentials, product heterogeneity and institutional arrangements," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(S1), pages 28-32.
    9. Huang, Shupei & An, Haizhong & Gao, Xiangyun & Wen, Shaobo & Jia, Xiaoliang, 2016. "The global interdependence among oil-equity nexuses," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 259-271.
    10. Meyler, Aidan, 2009. "The pass through of oil prices into euro area consumer liquid fuel prices in an environment of high and volatile oil prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 867-881, November.

    More about this item


    Granger causality; crude oil; benchmark; West Texas Intermediate; Europe Brent; Dubai Fateh; Russian Urals; Iran Seri Kerir; price dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • G19 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Other

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