An Analysis of OPEC’s Strategic Actions, US Shale Growth and the 2014 Oil Price Crash

Author/Editor:

Alberto Behar ; Robert A Ritz

Publication Date:

July 6, 2016

Electronic Access:

Download PDF. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers including US shale oil out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a "regime switch" by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.

Series:

Working Paper No. 16/131

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

July 6, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781498351638/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2016131

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

36

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org