This study of the international oil market includes the changing structure of the industry, the worldwide surplus in refinery capacity and tankers, and the role of the spot market and movement of petroleum products between regions. The study shows there have been significant changes in the structure of the international oil industry in recent years. In the OPEC countries the major international oil companies have lost the power of decision-making with regard to investment, volume, and price, although their role in downstream activities in the major industrial consumer countries remains substantial. At the same time as the control levers of oil supply have passed into OPEC hands, the USA has increased its dependence on foreign oil supplies up to almost 50 percent of demand. Unless either greatly increased efficiency of energy use can lead to a substantial reduction in energy demand growth--or higher energy prices cannot be absorbed by the economic system, resulting in a prolonged period of recession--constraints are likely to exist in energy supplies some time before the mid-1980s, bringing about a substantial increase in oil prices in real terms. Such a situation will call for careful management by all concerned--consumers and producers, government and industry--if competitive bidding for available supplies is to be avoided and economic activity is not to be affected. Monitoring the evolution of supply developments would be an important adjunct of policymaking. This would necessitate keeping a close track of world energy and oil supply/demand developments on a broad regional basis at regular (e.g., quarterly) intervals. (ERA citation 03:049553)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Petroleum Economics Limited

    1 Argyll Street
    London W1,   England 

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20585
  • Publication Date: 1978-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 309 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00186438
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM