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EMF 6: World Oil

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Energy Modeling Forum


While there remains a high degree of uncertainty about future world oil prices, our analysis suggests that most of this uncertainty concerns not whether real prices will rise during the next several decades but rather how rapidly they will rise. An additional uncertainty concerns the duration and magnitude of a short-run decline in prices which began to manifest itself in 1981.

This study looked at the policies used by OPEC for oil production and sales, and proposed several scenarios to address problems with the current oil production system. The forum analyzed 11 scenarios, and created one reference which served as the base case for analyses. The scenarios were as follows: oil demand reduction, low elasticity, oil demand reduction and low elasticity, low economic growth, restricted backstop, disruption, technological breakthrough, disrupt and low elasticity, optimistic, oil demand reduction and disruption, and high price.