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Essay example - Oil Industry

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Pages 7 (1757 words)
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a cartel aimed at coordinating and unifying the petroleum policies that govern the member countries in ensuring stabilization of the markets of the oil so that they secure an economic, efficient and a constant supply of the petroleum to the consumers, a stable income to the producers and a good return on capital to the ones investing in petroleum industry (The Economist Newspaper Ltd, 2004, pp.8378-8381).

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The factors that lead to affect the demand for oil include the cyclical demand, the prices of the substitutes, changes in climate and the market speculation. When there is an increase in the prices of oil the demand remains constant. A very large change in the price of oil leads to a very minute impact on the demand and therefore the short-term demand curve is shown like this:
The supply of the conventional oil is relatively inelastic. This is so because the actual total cost of pumping the marginal barrel of the oil is comparatively low, once all capital expenses of building and prospecting an oil rig has been established. The oilfield will always cost the same roughly to operate whether producing at full capacity or at 50 percent capacity but in most cases the producers try their best to produce at the maximum sustainable rate. The short-run supply of oil is affected by the profit motive, spare capacity, stocks available for the immediate supply especially from the oil refineries and the external shocks (Zucchetto, 2006, p.45). ...
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