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IS the Opec Still An Oligopoly In World Oil Market ?
Dr.fadhil jumma jebur
Administration &economics college
If we want to make general description of crude oil market we have to limit the producing countries(supply) and the consumption countries (demand) and the oil prices.
The economical analysis for structure of oil market comes from linking between the behavior of oil market and economic theory according to the microeconomic analysis.
The oligopoly is a type of monopolistic markets which has some characterizes that make it approximately to explaining the nature of world oil market.
The uncertainty in oligopoly market which produces the differences in re-actions for producers in market.
The differences in re-actions lead to the broken demand curve and discrete revenue which changes the elasticity demand to inelasticity demand.
In this research we have been discussing the characteristics of oligopoly market and joining them with the opec status where the opec was consider the producer leader in world oil market under the current changes in world oil market which lead to rise in oil prices reach to more 110$.
1. The nature of world oil market
There are many studies trying to explain the nature of world oil market , the oligopoly produces and a type of leadership as follows:
A. The leader in production and price based on controlling enterprise.
B. The leader in production and under rule of least cost.
The first depends on mass production and economies of scale , the second depends on average cost and the marginal cost per barrel of crude oil.
Many studies tried to find out a suitable case between the behavior of world oil market and oligopoly theories , these studies as follows:
- Ralph cassedy : in price making and price behavioral in the petroleum .
This study explain that many of massive industrial projects like the oil industry contain price leader which limiting the price.
- reger Leroy : in his book (microeconomic theory) express that price leader must have enough information about the other producers for quality of manufacture good.
- georgy stigler : in his essay about the oligopoly theories
a well known study was made in 1982 by
These study states that opec is a leader in price and produce and the Saudi Arabia is the leader in opec.
2. some models explaining the opec behavior in world oil market
The western analysis thought that opec is monopoly producing systematic with the nature of oligopoly .
In this field there are many models to explain the monopolistic case as :
a. monopolistic model : by griffin and tusses
b. competition model : by adelman
c. the targeted income model:by moran
d. political model : by bindick
and we say that the model (a) & model (b) explain the maximization of wealth , and other models clear the maximization of non wealth .
in this research we will concentration on the political model which explain the behavior of opec by considering the recent or current developments in oil prices approximately nearly at level 110$ per barrel .
this developments are cancel the idea or theory which say that the opec is producer leader in world oil market ,because the opec not able to affected on world oil market recently.
In other hand the characterize of world oil market changed from seller market to buyer market and this changes in nature of market are canceled the monopolistic nature for opec.
The political model is one of quality models because the political factors cannot be measured by amount or figures and the model hypothesis that the oil countries pushed by controlling factors and the internal stability to increase his oil production ,for this reason the political model is the one of kind of simple models , but there are some disadvantages on this model ,and the stability and the security and political power become variables but cannot be measured and we can say : The oil prices of the opec prices rise by political factors and fill down by economically factors.
2. SOME FACTORS EFFECTING THE DEMAND ON m
Undoubtedly the recent developments in world economy in the rising of growth averages especially in industrial countries , the gross domestic production (GDP) has increased from 13 trillion dollars in 1970 to reach to 19 trillion dollars in 1980 ,then increased to 37 trillion dollars in 2000.
This quality jumps in world economy growth would not have take place amounts of crude oil by these countries .
So that the commodity of oil is the backbone of development process in these countries, and then the demand is one of the important economic variable ,when the oil still the first source for energy and desirable in spite of the multi sources of another energy for example the nuclear and water power ......etc .
In other words ,oil is most important energy source despite the availability of the energy sources such as nuclear and solar ,water power energy .
The pricing method for this commodity must not take place by the marginal cost and the marginal revenue law , because the oil commodity can be exhaustible , and then must pricing by or under exhaustible base .
On this view the opec was a leader in world oil market and controlling after the oil crisis in the late of 1973,which was called in western analysis the oil shock with complying the adjustments oil prices and this crisis work for the oil consumption countries , this reason make some researchers called this the "Inverse crisis".
World oil market changed from seller market to buyer market ,
Caused by the following factors as :
- new explorers of oilfield for countries outside the opec.
- Establishment the (IEA) international energy agency which allocated the huge oil storage covered the shortage when happen in oil market this amounts enough for (90) days.
- Internal factor in opec that all members not responsible in quota for each member to produce crude oil.
The world demand on oil is effected by economical and political factors but the political factors become the first in limiting oil prices.
We record her canceled the paste thoughts which say the opec s was the leader price in world oil market ,because the opec become not able to controlling oil prices and some factors plays such as:
a. the political model or political factors become explain the rises in oil prices , and the region of middle east is one of the important region in the world , and this region shows instability cases because the military operations that make uncertainty case in providing the amounts of crude oil continuously and regularity to world oil market .
b. the market changes his characterize from seller market to buyer market .
c. the Iranian nuclear program which make instability case in region and this reflect on world oil market.
d. The reducing in dollar value which effect on actual oil barrel price .
1. Different issues of opec annual report 2000-2005.
2. Bp statistical review of world energy , London 2006.
3. james griffin , D.J.TEECE and others, opec behavior and world oil prices ,allen and unvir,Inc,London ,1982.
4. Cassady ralph , price making and price behavior in the petroleum industry ,USA,1954.
5. opec annual statistical bulletin , different issues ,1991-1995.
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