Business Case Studies, Govenrment and Business Environment Case Study, Volatile Oil Prices, Speculations or Economies?

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Govenrment and Business Environment Case Study

Case Title:

Volatile Oil Prices – Speculations or Economies?

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Sweta Chhaochharia & Prof. Ranjit Goswami

Industry: Oil and Natural Gas


Case Code: GBE0060K

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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The oil market has always played a significant role in shaping the global economic and political developments. Oil has predominantly occupied the major market share in energy consumption and was expected to maintain its 40% market share till 2020. Thus, time and again, the rise in oil prices have been creating ripples in the world’s socio - economic milieu since 1948. In the time frame between 1948 till date, oil prices have experienced an umpteen number of rises and falls. Could this be attributed to the disequilibrium in demand and supply, or to the increased speculation in the oil market? Analysts said that the high prices were a result of the paper prices i.e. in the commodity market. Market watchers had pointed out the increase in trading of oil futures contracts by the hedge funds. Some analysts pointed out that the steady increase in money supply in the world’s leading economies led oil prices to rise. Moreover, they stressed that actually the inflation adjusted prices had fallen below the 1979 level.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the historical perspectives of the world oil market
  • To analyse the oil demand and supply factors
  • To analyse the factors behind the fluctuations in the world oil prices
  • To debate the future trends in the global oil market.

Keywords : Crude oil, World oil market, World oil demand, World oil supply, Money supply, Speculation, Nymex, Iraq war, Yom Kippur war, Ethanol, OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), Long and short position, Derivatives market, Futures and spot market, World oil reserves

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