Saudi Aramco and the Oil Market

27 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2011

See all articles by Anton Nakov

Anton Nakov

European Central Bank (ECB); CEPR

Galo Nuno

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 3, 2011

Abstract

We present a general equilibrium model of the global oil market, in which the oil price, oil production, and consumption, are jointly determined as outcomes of the optimizing decisions of oil importers and oil exporters. On the supply side the oil market is modeled as a dominant firm – Saudi Aramco – with competitive fringe. We establish that a dominant firm may exist as long as it enjoys a cost advantage over the fringe. We provide an expression for the optimal markup and compute the spare capacity maintained by such a firm. The model produces plausible dynamics in response to oil supply and oil demand shocks. In particular, it reproduces successfully the jump in oil output of Saudi Aramco following the output collapse of Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War, explaining it as the profit-maximizing response of the dominant firm. Oil taxes and subsidies affect the oil price and welfare through their effect on the trade-off between oil production efficiency and oil market competition.

Keywords: oil price, oil production, dominant firm, Saudi Aramco, oil tax

JEL Classification: E32, Q43

Suggested Citation

Nakov, Anton A. and Nuno, Galo, Saudi Aramco and the Oil Market (June 3, 2011). ECB Working Paper No. 1354, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1857398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1857398

Anton A. Nakov (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Galo Nuno

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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