Oil remains a key source of energy, and oil markets matter. Recently, there has been a revival in the debate over whether oil should attract policy attention. This paper examines what elements in oil may attract concern and policy intervention. A particular focus is the recent debate between the two schools of thought to explain recent price strength—the ‘cyclical’ school and the ‘structural’ school. There is a brief history of recent developments in oil markets and pricing. Future issues are considered which arise out of these developments and which may have policy dimensions. These include: capacity levels and supply; ‘resource curse’ and the future of supply; market control and the role of OPEC; levels of competition in the market place; and, finally, implications for the environment. The conclusion considers the challenges of using policy in such an international industry. Oxford Review of Economic Policy vol. 21 no. 1 2005 © The Author (2005). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
- Global oil markets
- Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)