An Inconvenient Truth about OPEC

The three major organizations that forecast long-term oil demand and supply, along with oil companies and consulting firms, believe that OPEC will reconcile predicted global demand and non-OPEC supply. But they are wrong: OPEC output will not meet such projections, because they are based on flawed and outdated forecasting models.

DALLAS – The three major organizations that forecast long-term oil demand and supply – the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) – along with oil companies and consulting firms, believe that OPEC will reconcile predicted global demand and non-OPEC supply. But they are wrong: OPEC output will not meet such projections, because they are based on flawed and outdated forecasting models.

In forecasts that carry forward to the 2030’s, the three organizations share the view that world energy demand will increase, that developing countries will account for most of the increase, and that fossil fuel will remain dominant. They also agree that dependence on oil from OPEC members will increase as non-OPEC oil resources dwindle and become more expensive to extract. But a major flaw in modeling world oil markets makes these forecasts as unrealistic as a projection that humans will land on Mars tomorrow.

Current forecasting models project world oil demand based on variables such as economic growth (or income), oil prices, the price of oil substitutes, and past demand. They also project non-OPEC output using variables such as oil prices, production costs, and past supply. But, after forecasting world demand and non-OPEC supply, these models simply assume that OPEC will supply the rest – without taking into account OPEC behavior or considering that OPEC members might not be willing or able to meet the “residual” demand. For this reason, these models estimate what is known as the “call on OPEC,” the difference between estimated world demand and estimated non-OPEC supply.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/e1nNqQN;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.