Oil Trade: Politics and Prospects

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After a century of exponential growth, the international oil industry suddenly slowed down in the 1970s, faltered during the 1980s, and by 1991 was only just about back to its 1979 level. That break in trend of its dominance in world energy became clear after 'the Opec decade' from 1973 onwards had gained an intoxicating surge of riches for oil-exporting countries. This book is a descriptive analysis of current influences upon the world oil trade. It is concerned with a central unchanged paradox of the industry - its tendency to maximise the production of high-cost rather than low-cost oil. It follows the rise and decay of Opec monopoly power in the crude market, and shows how growth in the international oil business has almost ceased since the late seventies, exploring the reasons behind this slowdown - not all attributable to Opec or to the nationalisation of major oil companies. The author has had more than twenty-five years of practical consultancy in petroleum economics. His book is objective and forward-looking: it is not a history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...for anyone seeking understanding of the forces driving the industry, this is the only book they need to read—or, so far as I know, that attempts the task." Times Literary Supplement

"...a serious and original discussion of the economics of the international petroleum trade, its present, and most particularly, its future....this is a fascinating and rich book, tossing out important and thought-provoking ideas one does not necessarily agree with." Middle East Policy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521331432
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Energy and Environment Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of tabular boxes
List of abbreviations
1 Pause or plateau? 1
2 A discontinuity in trade 31
3 Cost: concepts and comparisons 50
4 Ambitions of autarky? 76
5 Still the prime mover 93
6 An industry restructured 114
7 Governments in the oil business 138
8 The Opec performance 169
9 A confusion of prices 195
10 Perspectives of supply 225
11 A contrast of expectations 252
12 A sustainable paradox? 272
Appendix 1 What are oil reserves? 288
Appendix 2 A note on energy and oil statistics 292
Bibliography 294
Index 299
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