An assessment of OPEC’S strategy and market factors on crude oil pricing
KeywordsOil ; Crude ; OPEC ; Natural gas ; Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ; Saudi Arabia ; Henry Hub ; NBP ; TTF ; JKM ; Price ; Drivers ; Pricing ; Hydrocarbons ; Shale ; Energy economics ; Energy policy ; Gas hubs ; Volatility ; Demand ; Supply ; Speculation ; Uncertainty ; Russia ; Bubbles ; Explosive periods ; Commodities ; ECM ; VECM ; VAR ; Econometrics ; Investments ; Financial markets ; Long-run models ; Economic modelling ; Asymmetric price transmission ; Causality ; Brent ; WTI ; Gas markets ; Oil markets ; Impacts ; Renewable ; Tight
The main aim of this dissertation is to explore and discover the main crude price drivers. While oil is seen as a commodity, its market structure is much more complex. It is not a commodity which can be produced in abundance from each country, even if in our era there are multiple sources other than the conventional ones. As a result, the countries are separated into producers and consumers with many new producers to claim their market share. Along with the oil price determinants, we try to best describe the role and strategy of major producers like those of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation, and then focus on OPEC. Our main result is that demand is the main determinant , something which implies lack of substitution. However, shale production and inventories play a deflationary role but in a much lesser way than what is widely conceived. Financial speculation plays a contributory role to market’s volatility. However, pricing is fundamentally explained. On the contrary, negative shocks in supply are not possible since we had incidents like the surge of the Islamic State which did not cause disruptions. Predominantly, the glut could prevail due to negative demand shocks like recessions or epidemics like the COVID. Further, it is proposed that consumers and producers have common interest to keep prices at reasonable levels and dialogue could be achieved. As for the linkage between the natural gas and oil markets, we find strong evidence of market decoupling in several markets. In the US (Henry Hub), UK (National Balancing Point or NBP) and continental Europe (Title Transfer Facility or TTF in Netherlands) the natural gas market is a completely separate market. And even when there are linkages, these are only transient. However, in the Japanese-Korean market or Japan Korea Marker (JKM), when the nuclear power plants were turned off after the Fukushima accident, oil drove the LNG prices. We consider the Saudi Arabia as the swing producer, which covers most of the demand increases, but leaves space to the others. Saudi Arabia does not want to keep prices at extreme levels as this would harm future demand. In addition, Saudi Arabia keeps the same production strategy irrespectively of the time-horizon, prices and inventories. Especially, in the short-run the major producer tries to make inventories less cost effective. In addition, the Russian Federation is not solely dependent on oil prices. The Russian GDP is more dependent on state expenditure. However, the oil dependence might come from the relationship between the state expenditure and GDP. We find that there is a level of dependency but not Dutch disease. We also find that OPEC production can deflate prices, however, OECD production is more significant in the long-run. On the contrary, OPEC’s production has the same influence on the short-run, while OECD has insignificant impact. The last shows the production and export bottlenecks OECD countries face. Finally, OPEC continues to be capable of sending strong signals to the market. Its production profile can prevent market failures. Further, it can be transformed into a forum between producers and consumers. Many OPEC countries could help in drafting a manual of good practice since they are in their effort to diversify their economy. Last, oil price volatility is considered as the main threat for both consumers and producers.