Research at EMF

Workshop on Oil Price Determinants

Project (Completed)

Workshop on Oil Price Determinants

The Stanford Energy Modeling Forum will host a small two-day workshop on oil price determinants in Washington DC in September. The workshop, generously supported by the newly developed King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), has a relatively simple goal: discuss the factors contributing to near-term and longer-run price trends and identify the major research gaps in understanding the relative importance of these factors.  The session is by invitation only and will bring together scholars and practitioners with backgrounds in economics, finance, business, and oil-market analysis.

Although we want an open discussion of all factors, we are particularly keen on identifying promising areas where these effects can be evaluated quantitatively or where additional data might be useful.  Formal large-scale oil market models may play a role in this quantitative assessment, but we want to extend our coverage well beyond to all approaches that may help resolve the uncertainty about oil price determinants.                     

Topics for the planned session include Oil Prices Yesterday and Today, Oil Fundamentals and Investment Trading, Evaluating Oil Price Movements, Supply Conditions Shaping Long-Run Price Paths, Demand Factors Shaping Long-Run Price Paths, and Automobiles and Competitive Fuels.  Each session will be focused primarily upon open discussion among all participants.  To provide some structure to this discussion, two panelists will begin by presenting brief remarks on what is known and where they think that the research gaps lie.  

Several participants are making available recent working papers that may be relevant to the discussion of oil pricing but they will not necessarily be the basis for any presentations at the meeting. 

These contributions are available here:

  • Bahattin Buyuksahin, Celso Brunetti, Michel A. Robe and Kirsten R. Soneson “Do OPEC Members Know Something the Market Doesn’t? ‘Fair Price’ Pronouncements and the Market Price of Crude Oil,”
  • Smith, James, “On The Portents of Peak Oil (And Other Indicators of Resource Scarcity).”
  • Kilian, L., and D. Murphy (2010), "The Role of Inventories in Identifying Oil Demand and Oil Supply Shocks," mimeo, University of Michigan.
  • Parsons, John E.  "Black Gold & Fool’s Gold: Speculation in the Oil Futures Market," Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.


Hillard G. Huntington