EMF Publications

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EMF OP 68 - Estimating U.S. Oil Security Premiums

Occasional Paper

Stephen P.A. Brown - Nonresident Fellow at Resources for the Future
Hillard G. Huntington - Executive Director, Energy Modeling Forum at Stanford University

Published by
Energy Modeling Forum,

World oil supply disruptions lead to U.S. economic losses. Because oil is fungible in an integrated world oil market, increased oil consumption, whether from domestic or imported
sources, increases the economic losses associated with oil supply disruptions. Nevertheless,
increased U.S. oil production expands stable supplies and dampens oil price shocks, while
increased U.S. oil imports expands unstable supplies and exacerbates oil price shocks. Some of the economic losses associated with oil supply disruptions are externalities that can be quantified as oil security premiums. To estimate such premiums for domestic and imported oil, we employ a welfare-analytic approach—taking into account projected world oil market conditions, probable oil supply disruptions, the market response to oil supply disruptions, and the U.S. economic losses resulting from disruptions to the extent they that should be considered externalities. Our estimates quantify the security externalities associated with increased oil use, which derive from the expected economic losses associated with potential disruptions in world oil supply.