The Economics of Oil and Gas
The availability of low-cost energy from fossil fuels – in particular oil – has been the driving force behind postwar global economic growth, such that the petroleum industry has some of the world’s largest companies. This book examines the economics of the oil and gas industry, from exploration, development and production, to transportation, refining and marketing. At each stage of the value chain, the key economic costs and considerations are presented in order to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the workings of the industry. The book examines some of the unique economic challenges the industry faces, including negotiating international contracts with host countries (to gain access to hydrocarbons), managing the risks of recovery, implementing cross-border pipelines, dealing with huge variations in the taxation of refined products, and reacting to the effect of price control and subsidization in the OPEC nations which can create massive volatility in pricing. The search for low-carbon fuels, the impact of shale gas, the prospect of finite reserves, and the global political realities of the competing demands of oil-importing and oil-exporting countries are shown to make the sector high risk, but the economic rewards can be huge.