36-4 Real Oil and Gas Prices 1996 dollars Per gallon (1 barrel=42 gallons)
36-5 Historical Events Relating to Oil and Gas Prices 1972 Arab-Israeli War –US support for Israel prompted an embargo by Arab oil producers against the US and Europe. This led to a significant increase in crude oil prices. 1979 Iranian Revolution –Iran’s Islamic revolution led to instability in the Persian Gulf. This led to a significant increase in crude oil prices. 1980’s –Rapid increases in profits led to significant discoveries of oil in Mexico and the North Sea 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War –The war led to increased production by both parties as each needed to fund their war effort. This caused a precipitous fall in crude oil prices.
36-6 World Oil Reserves GroupBillions of Barrels in Reserve Percentage of World Reserves Persian Gulf75558% Non-Persian Gulf OPEC 16813% Rest of the World38729%
36-7 OPEC The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) –Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela OPEC began as a cartel. –A cartel is an organization of individual competitors that join to form as a single monopolist.
36-8 Was OPEC a Cartel? OPEC production has always been a significant part of the oil market but it has never reached the level of monopoly. The cartel model is still useful because it has been a dominant player.
36-9 The Cartel Model One Country’s Oil MC ATC P Q MR P cartel MR’ Q cartel P Q D S=MC Market for Oil Q PC P PC MR Q PC Q quota Profit Q cheat Profit
36-10 Why Oil and Gas Prices Change So Fast Because expected price is a determinant of supply and demand a world event that causes people to expect a price increase will –Increase current demand (as middlemen and consumers try to buy as much as possible) –Decrease current supply (as middlemen and gas stations try to hold onto their current stocks) This causes an immediate increase in prices.
36-11 1990 Iraq Invasion of Kuwait 1992-1998 OPEC massive overproduction 1999OPEC discipline 2003US invasion of Iraq 2004-2005Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico 2007Iran-US tensions; Commodity Speculation 2008Global Financial Crisis Historical Events Relating to Oil and Gas Prices
36-12 From $1 to $4 in Ten Years 1)OPEC production cuts; Low stocks of oil; bad weather 2)Release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; recession 3)Political unrest in oil producing Venezuela and Nigeria; War in Iraq 4)Hurricanes Damage Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico 5)Threatened Conflict b/w U.S. Iran 6)Global Commodity Speculation 7)Global Financial Crisis
36-14 Gasoline Prices and Hurricanes A significant portion of refining capacity in the US is in the Gulf of Mexico
36-15 Electricity Residential electric power tends to be sold by a regulated monopoly. It has been a monopoly because of significant barriers to entry. It has been regulated because prices would be much higher than is socially optimal.
36-16 Types of Monopolies Simple Monopoly: a monopoly in which marginal costs of production are rising. Natural Monopoly: a monopoly in which marginal costs of production are falling.
36-17 Monopoly in the Market for Residential Electricity The market for residential electricity is likely to be a natural monopoly for nuclear power because of the very high fixed costs (transmission lines and the power plant and diminishing marginal costs.) The market may be characterized as a simple monopoly or natural monopoly for coal or gas generated electricity.
36-18 An Unregulated Simple Monopoly P Q MC Monopoly D MR Q monopoly P monopoly
36-19 An Unregulated Natural Monopoly P Q MC Monopoly D MR Q monopoly P monopoly ATC
36-20 An Regulated Simple Monopoly P Q MC Monopoly D MR Q monopoly P monopoly P regulated Q regulated
36-21 An Regulated Natural Monopoly P Q MC Monopoly D MR Q monopoly P monopoly ATCP regulated Q regulated
36-22 The California Experience California produces electricity with natural gas. California “deregulated” by –Having its utilities sell their productive capacity to a variety of competitive producing firms –Having them buy electricity from these producers –Letting the market price for wholesale electricity float. –Continuing to fix residential electricity prices. Natural gas prices increased dramatically The utilities could not buy the power because they were selling it at regulated prices that were lower that the deregulated prices at which they were buying it.