Anupama Sen

Senior Research Fellow

Anupama Sen joined the Institute in November 2009. Her research interests lie in the applied economics of energy in developing countries and her research has spanned the oil, gas and electricity sectors, focusing largely on non-OECD Asia.  In addition to OIES Papers, her work has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals and professional publications, as well as in several book chapters and Op-Eds. Anupama is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society and has been a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge. She is also a Region Head on the Asia Pacific Desk at Oxford Analytica. She holds a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Mumbai, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Areas of Expertise
Electricity sector reform; energy policy in South Asia and India; oil demand issues in non-OECD Asia; applied econometrics; economic policy.

For non OIES publications please click here

Contact

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                    [post_content] => Economic diversification has been a key developmental goal for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) oil producers for decades as evidenced in their various national development plans. Some countries have made progress over the last few decades in diversifying their economic base and their sources of income. But despite these efforts, most indicators of economic complexity, diversity, and export quality continue to be lower in oil-exporting Arab economies than even in many emerging market economies, including commodity exporters in other regions.

Of late, a renewed sense of urgency has arisen around the issue of economic diversification. The conventional wisdom that dominated oil market behaviour over the past few decades has been based around the idea of ‘peak oil supply’ and ‘scarcity rents’, and that preserving resources for the future by rationing supplies provided a sensible way of managing a country’s oil fairly across generations. The pendulum has swung to the notions of ‘peak oil demand’ and ‘oil abundance’ – where the pace of oil demand growth is expected to slow over time and eventually plateau/decline, resulting in stranded assets. It is generally thought that the world is on the brink of another ‘energy transition’ in which conventional energy sources such as oil will eventually be substituted away in favour of low or zero carbon energy sources.

Rather than debating its definition or measurement, this presentation adds context to the debate on economic diversification, by analysing it against the arguments around peak oil demand and the energy transition – it looks at three questions: how soon can we expect ‘peak oil demand’ to occur, or alternatively, how fast is the current ‘energy transition’? What kind of economic future should MENA countries be planning for? And, how does the emergence of renewables as a competitive energy source impact economic diversification strategies in these countries?

The presentation argues that the starting point of any analysis of MENA oil exporting countries should not be based on an approach solely predicated upon the premise that oil will no longer be in demand and that the oil sector will play a marginal role. The diversification strategy adopted by oil exporting countries will be conditioned by the speed of the energy transition, during which the oil sector will continue to play a key role in these economies including in their diversification efforts. At the same time, oil producers will need to be far more strategic in their use of the energy sector to diversify their economies. In a more competitive world, oil policy will also continue to matter; cooperation between oil producers will be imperative, yet challenging.

Executive Summary
                    [post_title] => Economic Diversification in the Context of Peak Oil and the Energy Transition
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                    [post_content] => Resource-rich economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are pursuing two parallel strategies with regard to their electricity sectors: (i) increasing the role of renewables and integrating them into their power generation mix to mitigate the impact of rising domestic oil and gas demand on their economies and to boost their hydrocarbon export capacities; and (ii) conducting power sector reforms to attract investment in generation capacity and networks, remove subsidies, and improve operational efficiency. These goals imply that the design of power sector reforms (including regulations governing wholesale and retail markets and networks) needs to be carried out with a view to the possibility of a rising share of non-dispatchable resources. The lack of an integrated approach to simultaneously address these two strategies is likely to lead to several misalignments between renewables and the various components of future electricity markets, when the share of intermittent resources increases in the generation mix. The key challenge is that the ‘ultimate model’ that will reconcile these two goals (liberalization and integrating renewables) is as yet unknown, and is still evolving due to uncertainties around the development of technologies, institutions, and consumer preferences. We argue in this paper that resource-rich MENA countries can, however, move towards adopting a transition model of electricity markets, the individual elements of which can eventually be adapted to suit either centralized or decentralized future electricity sector outcomes. We outline the key components of this model for the wholesale market, retail market, and network regulation, considering the objectives of governments and the specific contexts of the region.​

 
                    [post_title] => Electricity Markets in MENA: Adapting for the Transition Era
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                    [post_content] => India’s government is attempting to revive investments in its upstream sector, following several years of decline. These efforts are focused on achieving a policy objective of reducing energy imports by 10 per cent over current levels by 2022. Following an auction of marginal fields held by its National Oil Companies (NOCs) in 2016, an open acreage licensing round was launched in 2017; changing the upstream fiscal regime, going forward, from a profit-sharing to a revenue-sharing model. With the 2022 target looming, other models are also being considered, including NOC farmouts and production-enhancement contracts. This paper contributes to the policy discussion by addressing the following questions: what are the lessons from India’s previous bidding rounds for upstream acreage? And, what are some of the policy considerations, given similar international experience?
                    [post_title] => Policy Considerations Around India’s Upstream Reforms
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                    [post_content] => From 2000-2015, while OECD countries’ oil demand decreased by roughly 3 million barrels per day (mb/d), demand in non-OECD countries grew by around 21 mb/d. This represents an ongoing structural shift in oil demand dynamics that is characterised by two key developments: first, the rapid growth in China’s oil consumption from 2000-13, and second, the subsequent ‘jump’ in India’s oil demand growth – which overtook China’s in 2015 to emerge as the main engine of non-OECD Asian oil demand growth. The shift is particularly visible in gasoline demand – driven primarily by transport – which has defied expectations in terms of the sources of demand growth. Contrary to those expectations, the centre of growth has shifted from West of Suez markets to non-OECD Asia, which had previously been dominated by distillates. Average gasoline demand growth in Asia has nearly doubled from 130 kb/d a year from 2005-10, to 290 kb/d from 2011 onwards. As the emerging market economies of non-OECD Asia continue to industrialise, rising per capita incomes are likely to further underpin this structural shift. At the same time, climate change mitigation and growing concerns over poor air quality imply that non-OECD Asia’s economic growth will occur in a carbon-constrained world, and are unlikely to follow the trajectories of the OECD countries. This Insight summarises findings from a recent OIES Paper which investigates two research questions: first, what are the key drivers of gasoline demand growth in non-OECD Asia, based on historical trends? And second, what are the constraints to gasoline demand growth in this region? The first question is investigated through an analysis of   statistical data on 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, of which over half are non-OECD. The second question, driven by local and regional policies, is investigated by looking in depth at the cases of India and China. While these economies are entering or are already in high growth trajectories with car ownership levels rising, oil demand growth in transport is likely to slow relative to a baseline, as policies to substitute away from oil in transport are implemented on a widespread basis. The paper provides broad insights into the drivers and constraints on gasoline demand in non-OECD Asia, focusing on the transport sector as a key variable.
                    [post_title] => Gasoline Demand in Transport in Non-OECD Asia
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                    [post_content] => Global oil demand is undergoing a structural shift. This is broadly reflected in changing demand dynamics over the last 15 years. While OECD demand decreased by 3 million barrels per day (mb/d) from 2000-15, demand in non-OECD countries grew by 21 mb/d (IEA, 2015). This shift is characterised by two developments: first, the rapid growth in China’s oil consumption from 2000-13, and second, the subsequent ‘jump’ in India’s oil demand growth – which overtook China’s in 2015 to emerge as the main engine of non-OECD Asian oil demand growth. As the emerging market economies of non-OECD Asia continue to industrialise, rising per capita incomes are likely to further underpin this structural shift. The shift is particularly visible in gasoline demand – driven primarily by transport – which has defied expectations in terms of the sources of demand growth. Contrary to those expectations, the centre of growth has shifted from West of Suez markets to non-OECD Asia, which had previously been dominated by distillates. Average gasoline demand growth in Asia has nearly doubled from 130 kb/d a year from 2005-10, to 290 kb/d from 2011 onwards. At the same time, climate change mitigation and growing concerns over air quality imply that Asia’s economic growth will occur in a carbon-constrained world, and non-OECD Asia may not follow the trajectories of the OECD countries. Given this context, this paper investigates two research questions: first, what are the key drivers of gasoline demand growth in non-OECD Asia, based on historical trends? And second, what are the constraints to gasoline demand growth in this region? The first question is investigated using statistical analyses on a panel dataset of 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, of which over half are non-OECD countries. The second question, driven by regional policies, is investigated by looking in depth at the cases of India and China. The paper gives a broad insight into the drivers and constraints on Asian gasoline demand, focusing on the transport sector as a key variable.
                    [post_title] => Gasoline Demand in Non-OECD Asia: Drivers and Constraints
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                    [post_content] => In May 2016, the Indian government launched a bidding round for Discovered Small and Marginal Fields (DSF), as part of a push to attract investments into the development of oil and gas discoveries in fields previously held by India’s National Oil Companies (NOCs) as part of their ‘legacy’ assets. The DSF round was especially significant as it was India’s first bidding round for acreage in six years (during which time upstream activity has been in decline), and it was intended to be a preamble to the country’s new open acreage licensing system (the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy – HELP) under which the basis of the upstream fiscal regime has been fundamentally changed from a profit-sharing contract to a revenue-sharing contract. This Insight explores the following questions pertaining to the DSF round: what is the purpose and significance of the DSF round within India’s wider policy on energy? Has the outcome of the first DSF round been successful relative to historical performance? And, does the new regime adequately address the weaknesses which have encumbered India’s previous attempts at upstream exploration and production?
                    [post_title] => Small Fields, Big Expectations: Can India’s Discovered Small Field Rounds Deliver?
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                    [post_content] => India is once again in the spotlight as a potential future growth market for gas, as demand elsewhere in the OECD and non-OECD recedes or grows increasingly uncertain. Yet, the view on gas from within India has been in constant flux over the last decade, with no realistic vision on its role in the energy mix. But in recent months, there has been an upsurge in India’s consumption of imported LNG – driven largely by the fertilisers, city gas and industry sectors – prompting a revival in policy activity around the reconsideration of gas’s role in the energy mix. At the same time, India has embarked on one of the developing world’s most ambitious targets, specifically to increase its renewables installed capacity by more than threefold (to 175 GW) by 2022, as part of a series of domestic policy targets made alongside its firm international commitments following its ratification of the COP21 agreement.

This paper disentangles the short-term developments and dynamics of demand in the main consuming sectors (power, fertilisers, industry and city gas), from the influence of longer-term determinants (prices, renewables policy, coal policy and pollution issues, and infrastructure) as enablers or constraints on the future outlook for gas. It presents three illustrative outlook cases for gas:

A likely outcome is some combination of the first two outlook cases. More importantly, this paper emphasises the highly dynamic nature of the Indian market post-COP21, making the point that the short-term dynamics and longer-term determinants could effectively be studied in a number of combinations and permutations, in order to garner a better understanding of the Indian market as it evolves and develops towards meeting India’s key energy policy goals.

Executive Summary
                    [post_title] => India's Gas Market Post-COP21
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                    [post_content] => Following several years of stagnation, India’s government is attempting to revive its upstream exploration sector through the launch of a new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), comprising a set of measures including: a single licence for conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, open acreage licensing, a revenue sharing model, and commercial and marketing (pricing) freedom. The policy appears to be aimed at reducing administrative costs, preventing the recurrence of past disputes and arbitration, and recognizing India’s former, limited capacity to regulate and administer Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs). The first test of the new regime is a round of auctions for 67 marginal fields which previously formed part of the ‘legacy assets’ held by India’s National Oil Companies (NOCs). This Comment argues that India’s upstream sector is still characterized by certain features – such as the concentration of acreage holdings – which have impeded its past performance and as yet remain unresolved. Consequently, HELP risks ending up being another hurdle if it does little to address the government’s objectives for the upstream sector within broader Indian energy policy. 
                    [post_title] => India's Upstream Revival - HELP or Hurdle?
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                    [post_content] => 

As much of the world pushes ahead with the deployment of renewable energy, resource-rich MENA economies are lagging behind. For the region to catch up, new policies are required to remove barriers of entry to the industry and create investment incentives. This paper contends that while the main obstacles to deployment of renewables are grid infrastructure inadequacy, insufficient institutional capacity, and risks and uncertainties, the investment incentives lie on a policy instrument spectrum with two polar solutions: (i) the incentive is provided entirely through the market (removing all forms of fossil fuel subsidies and internalising the cost of externalities); or (ii) the incentive is provided through a full government subsidy programme (in addition to the existing fossil fuel subsidies). However, there is a trade-off between the two dimensions of the fiscal burden and political acceptance across the policy instrument spectrum, which implies that the two polar solutions themselves are not easily and fully implementable in these countries. Therefore, we propose a combinatorial approach in which the incentive for renewables deployment is provided through a partial renewable subsidy program and partial fossil fuel price reform in a way that balances the fiscal pressure on the government against political acceptability. Additionally, the paper argues that the fact resource-rich countries are behind advanced economies in electricity sector reform gives them a last-mover advantage in the sense that they can tap into years of international experience to avoid design mistakes and create a sustainable solution that is compatible with renewables deployment and their own context.

Executive Summary

[post_title] => Advancing Renewable Energy in Resource-Rich Economies of the MENA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => advancing-renewable-energy-resource-rich-economies-mena [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-16 13:39:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-16 13:39:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=29685 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29272 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2016-04-29 11:56:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-29 10:56:33 [post_content] => In 2015, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries began implementing and accelerating pricing reforms targeting the removal of energy subsidies. While the price increases were from a low base and domestic energy prices are still well below international levels and among the cheapest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the recent increases represent a fundamental shift in the GCC’s economic and social policies. In this Comment we analyse the fiscal pressures which led to the acceleration of pricing reforms, which we argue were building even during the period of record high oil prices preceding it; we review recent energy pricing reforms in GCC countries; and we analyse the implications of these reforms for the social contract between GCC governments and their citizens. We conclude that recent energy pricing reforms have been driven primarily by short-term revenue needs, and, while the implicit social contract is not as rigid as originally perceived, it may not prove sufficiently elastic to accommodate further price increases. Deeper reforms will therefore not be viable unless governments introduce mitigation measures and implement effective communication strategies which emphasize the importance of energy pricing reform for national transformation. [post_title] => Striking the Right Balance? GCC Energy Reforms in a Low Price Environment [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => striking-right-balance-gcc-energy-reforms-low-price-environment [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-29 13:31:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-29 12:31:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=29272 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29212 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2016-03-07 14:31:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-07 14:31:19 [post_content] => Over the last decade, non-OECD oil demand growth, and by extension global oil demand growth, was driven mainly by China, which accounted for half to two-thirds of this growth. However, since the Chinese government embarked on a deliberate policy of rebalancing, the country’s annual demand growth has slowed to under 0.3 mb/d, compared to an average demand growth of over 0.5 mb/d in the 10 years prior to 2013. In this new era of slower Chinese growth, a new contender has emerged: India, which in 2015 was the main driver of non-OECD oil demand growth. In this paper we argue that in addition to the boost from low oil prices, structural and policy-driven changes are underway which could result in India’s oil demand ‘taking off’ in a similar way to China’s during the late 1990s, when Chinese oil demand was at levels roughly equivalent to current Indian oil demand. These changes include: a rise in per capita oil consumption (reflected in rising motorization of the Indian economy), a massive programme of road construction (amounting to 30 km per day), and a push towards increasing the share of manufacturing in GDP by 2022 (which could increase oil consumption by at least a third based on a conservative linear estimate). This paper also examines the implications of a take-off in domestic demand for India’s recently acquired status as a net petroleum product exporter. Executive Summary [post_title] => India's Oil Demand: On the Verge of 'Take-Off'? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => indias-oil-demand [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-16 14:05:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-16 14:05:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=29212 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29076 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2016-02-05 14:09:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-05 14:09:06 [post_content] => After more than two decades of attempts at electricity sector reform, there is a strong case for assessing empirical evidence on its outcomes, particularly for developing countries. Electricity reform programmes, implemented through the ‘standard’ or ‘textbook’ model, have their foundations in standard microeconomic theory and are based on the rationale that restructuring towards greater competition can lead to higher efficiency, maximise economic welfare, and transfer surplus to consumers. In practice, this has not always been the case, even in the OECD economies which pioneered the standard model. This paper investigates the outcomes of the standard model for developing countries, by applying instrumental variable regression techniques on an original and previously untested panel dataset covering 17 non-OECD developing Asian economies spanning 23 years. In contrast with the theoretical literature, our results show a tension between wider economic impacts and welfare impacts for consumers: namely, the variables that are associated with a positive effect on economic growth appear to be associated with a negative impact on welfare indicators. Our results show that institutional factors have influenced the outcomes, underscoring the point that the uniform application of the standard model without reference to the heterogeneity of the countries is unlikely to have resulted in originally intended outcomes. Our results call for a renewed thinking, or ‘reform’ of electricity reforms. Executive Summary [post_title] => Reforming Electricity Reforms? Empirical Evidence from Asian Economies [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => reforming-electricity-reforms-empirical-evidence-from-asian-economies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-16 14:08:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-16 14:08:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/?post_type=publications&p=29076 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27320 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2015-10-19 15:22:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-19 14:22:05 [post_content] => This paper follows on from ‘Saudi Arabia’s Oil Policy: More than Meets the Eye?’ published in June 2015, which raised a set of fundamental questions in relation to the sharp drop in the oil price between June 2014 and January 2015, and OPEC’s decision, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, not to cut output in response. We develop a simple analytical framework, which formalizes Saudi Arabia’s decision-making process relative to the fundamental revenue maximization-market share trade-off in the 2014-15 oil price fall. Using a simple game, we show that under uncertainty, it is always better off for the Kingdom to assume shale oil supply is elastic and not to cut output. But we also argue that as Saudi Arabia learns more about this new source of supply, its policy will adapt accordingly. The fact Saudi Arabia’s oil policy could change as the trade-off between revenue maximization and market share evolves, and as new information is transmitted to the market, will keep the market second-guessing. It will continue to shape market expectations and influence market outcomes. Executive Summary [post_title] => The Dynamics of the Revenue Maximisation--Market Share Trade-off - Saudi Arabia's Oil Policy in the 2014--2015 Price Fall [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-dynamics-of-the-revenue-maximisation-market-share-trade-off-saudi-arabias-oil-policy-in-the-2014-2015-price-fall [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 09:37:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 09:37:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/the-dynamics-of-the-revenue-maximisation-market-share-trade-off-saudi-arabias-oil-policy-in-the-2014-2015-price-fall/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27336 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2015-06-19 10:47:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-19 09:47:44 [post_content] => The sharp drop in the oil price between June 2014 and January 2015 turned the world’s attention to Saudi Arabia’s role in the oil market and the determinants of its oil output policy. Initial hopes that Saudi Arabia would come to ‘rescue’ and ‘balance’ the market and put a floor under the oil price were replaced by stories of ‘price wars’ and ‘conspiracy theories’ aimed at pushing prices down to achieve some wider geopolitical objectives. This raised a set of fundamental questions: has there been a shift in Saudi Arabia’s oil policy? And if the answer is yes, what are the implications of this shift in policy on the short and long run dynamics of the oil market? Has the role of ‘swing producer’ shifted from Saudi Arabia to the US shale producers? Is Saudi Arabia still relevant in the ‘new oil order’? This paper argues Saudi Arabia’s oil policy should not be analysed in isolation of the evolution of global oil market dynamics. It is also fundamentally rooted and shaped by some salient features of its political, economic, and social systems. Given Saudi Arabia’s multiple objectives, some of which are short term while others are long term, and also given the limited number of tools available to policy makers (essentially: adjusting output and signalling to the market in the short term, and determining the pace of investment in its energy sector in the long term), Saudi Arabia faces trade-offs with regards to its oil output decisions. One key trade-off is between the objective of revenue maximization vis-à-vis that of maintaining market share and production volumes above a certain level. With the advent of US shale, Saudi Arabia has entered uncharted territory where it is still learning about a new source of supply and its responsiveness to price signals, which has made the calculus of the trade-off more uncertain. It is in the context of ‘second best’, trade-offs, imperfect information, internal constraints, and wide uncertainty introduced by a new source of supply, that this paper attempts to explain the behaviour of Saudi Arabia in the current price cycle. Executive Summary [post_title] => Saudi Arabia Oil Policy - More than Meets the Eye? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => saudi-arabia-oil-policy-more-than-meets-the-eye [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 09:45:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 09:45:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/saudi-arabia-oil-policy-more-than-meets-the-eye/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27355 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2015-04-15 10:12:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-04-15 09:12:38 [post_content] => Most discussion on the future of the market for internationally traded gas focuses on the ‘swing towards Asia’. Specifically, China and India, the world’s two most populous nations, are frequently highlighted as major drivers of future demand. Yet, there is considerable ambiguity over the assumptions underpinning this observation, particularly with regards to India. In fact, despite several years of relatively high economic growth in the last decade, it is difficult to make a confident and accurate assessment of India’s potential as a major Asian gas market. Official government forecasts carried out within a central planning framework tend to be overly optimistic, whereas projections by multilateral organisations tend to be cautious but confused. The reason for this lack of clarity is that the Indian gas sector is broadly characterised by two moving parts: one which has prices and quantities set by the Indian government, and another which utilises gas at market (LNG import) prices. Additionally, there is some overlap between the two, further complicating attempts to assess these as separate markets. The lack of a clear pricing signal therefore makes it difficult to determine future levels of demand. This paper analyses whether or not recent reforms to the pricing of domestic gas could potentially change the Indian gas landscape by making price signals clearer. It investigates three important questions: First, could gas pricing reforms reverse the recent decline in domestic production? Second, could they lead to new upstream investments in gas? Finally, what is the impact of the reforms on downstream consuming sectors? The paper begins with an analysis of the 2014 gas pricing reform, followed by an overview of demand, supply and consumption. It then delves into the three broad questions posed above, and concludes with observations on whether reforms to gas ‘price formation’ (as opposed to ‘price level’) in India are in fact achievable, or whether they will continue to elude successive governments, and on whether India can ever be Asia’s next gas market ‘Goliath’. Executive Summary [post_title] => Gas Pricing Reform in India - Implications for the Indian gas landscape [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => gas-pricing-reform-in-india-implications-for-the-indian-gas-landscape [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 10:38:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 10:38:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/gas-pricing-reform-in-india-implications-for-the-indian-gas-landscape/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27374 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2015-01-26 14:15:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-26 14:15:39 [post_content] => Recent changes in international oil prices have highlighted the issue of petroleum product pricing reforms in a number of non-OECD economies, particularly as the non-OECD now accounts for the bulk of the global growth in consumption of petroleum products. In 2014, oil demand from the non-OECD is predicted to overtake OECD oil demand for the very first time. Of this, four economies – Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the ‘BRIC’ countries – will account for 45 per cent of non-OECD oil demand. The BRIC countries have some common socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, and face similar challenges in domestic energy policy. One significant common policy stance has been associated with petroleum product pricing – specifically, the historical use of price controls, together with efforts to reform these over time. The most interesting feature of this shared policy stance is that it has led to different outcomes in the BRIC economies, particularly in relation to the impacts on downstream investment. This paper investigates the impacts of gasoline and diesel pricing reforms on downstream investment in the BRICs. Of the BRICs, India and China (the two countries that are the largest net importers of oil) have accounted for the largest downstream investments and expansions in refining capacity. However, these are also the two BRICs where price controls for petroleum products have been largely retained by governments, which have preferred a gradual approach towards the liberalization of prices. In contrast, Brazil and Russia, where petroleum product prices were officially liberalized in the early 1990s and early 2000s, have experienced serious constraints in attracting downstream investments and have struggled to expand (in the case of Brazil) or upgrade (in the case of Russia) their refining capacity. These outcomes run counterintuitive to expectation, according to which liberalization and the alignment of domestic petroleum product prices with international oil prices should be conducive to fostering competition and investment along the entire value chain. In investigating the reasons for this counterintuitive outcome, an analysis of the ‘pass-through’ of international price movements to domestic prices for gasoline and diesel shows broad evidence of price controls being exercised in Brazil and Russia despite the official liberalization of prices, through implicit or indirect measures, with governments typically influencing domestic pricing through intervention in the operations and capital expenditure plans of the National Oil Companies (NOCs). In contrast, India and China have used explicit or direct measures such as setting prices directly, adjusting federal taxes, and compensating NOCs and marketing/retailing companies, as well as specific consumer groups affected by price changes directly using cash transfers. The findings therefore demonstrate a dichotomy of experience amongst the BRICs. This paper sets out three broad policy lessons – first, that the impacts of price controls generally tend to be concentrated in one part of the value chain, and although governments may view this as ‘manageable’ or ‘containable’ - these impacts have knock-on effects, as shown in this paper. Second, that petroleum product price liberalization is not irreversible – demonstrated by the experiences of Brazil and Russia where price controls were reintroduced implicitly. And third, that there is a need, post-liberalization, for policies and price adjustment mechanisms which are logical and transparent, and which take into account the potentially negative impacts of price controls on downstream capital expenditure. Executive Summary [post_title] => Gasoline and Diesel Pricing Reforms in BRIC Countries - A Comparison of Policy and Outcomes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => gasoline-and-diesel-pricing-reforms-in-bric-countries-a-comparison-of-policy-and-outcomes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 10:46:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 10:46:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/gasoline-and-diesel-pricing-reforms-in-bric-countries-a-comparison-of-policy-and-outcomes/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27417 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-05-13 13:06:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-05-13 12:06:28 [post_content] => Recent experiences in electricity market reform have reignited an enduring debate in economics and public policy, namely, the benefits of liberalized markets versus central planning in the provision of goods and services. This debate as it relates to energy is not new – there has been previous criticism of whether liberalized markets in the energy sector have delivered optimal outcomes on objectives related to pricing, investment, storage, and overall ‘security of supply’ (Wright, 2006; Rutledge and Wright, 2010). However, the debate has arguably taken on new and greater relevance for two reasons. The first relates to the role of the electricity sector in decarbonization, and the argument that the sector provides the most direct and substantial way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions given the growing urgency of the environmental impacts of non-action (Keay, 2009; 2010). The second has wider ranging, global implications, given that many developing countries – which stand to lose the most from the environmental impacts of climate change – have been progressively moving towards electricity market liberalization, since the 1990s, after having adopted variations of this model following its relatively successful reception in the developed world at the time. What then are the implications of the fact that developed and developing countries could end up moving in opposite policy directions – the former towards central planning and the latter towards markets – in the pursuit of a shared eventual goal, that is, climate change mitigation through the proliferation of renewable energy in the electricity sector? This paper summarizes this debate and sketches out areas of policy relevance as they pertain to developing countries. [post_title] => Divergent Paths to a Common Goal? An Overview of Challenges to Electricity Sector Reform in Developing versus Developed Countries [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => divergent-paths-to-a-common-goal-an-overview-of-challenges-to-electricity-sector-reform-in-developing-versus-developed-countries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 14:10:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 14:10:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/divergent-paths-to-a-common-goal-an-overview-of-challenges-to-electricity-sector-reform-in-developing-versus-developed-countries/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27455 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-12-13 09:44:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-12-13 09:44:09 [post_content] => This paper addresses the following policy question: why, despite nearly 15 years of operation of India’s New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), representing two full exploration cycles has this regime yielded inconclusive results, both in terms of a firm indication of India’s resource potential, and increased domestic production? This paper argues that a substantial part of the reason for this lack of performance may lie in auctions and market design, and uses data for the period 1999–2010, covering nine rounds of auctions, to explore three lines of argument relating to some unintended consequences of the NELP. First, the regime has led to a highly concentrated market in upstream acreages where a small number of firms hold the largest amounts of acreage. Second, the regime has led to a ‘holdup’ problem that can be attributed to information asymmetries between the government and bidders, where winning bidders may later not fulfil their work programme commitments within the stipulated timeframe. Third, the lack of a clearer definition of the objectives of the auction and their relative importance, specifically, optimality versus efficiency, may have acted as a constraint on the effectiveness of the regime. We use a combination of theory and empirics to explore these three hypotheses. At the end of the paper we draw the results together, showing that problems relating to auctions and market design may have led to a cycle of information asymmetry and inefficiency, the net effect of which has been a slowdown in India’s domestic production, shortages in meeting supply targets, and the need for expensive imports. We suggest some policy options and areas for further research. [post_title] => Auctions for Oil and Gas Exploration Leases in India - An Empirical Analysis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => auctions-for-oil-and-gas-exploration-leases-in-india-an-empirical-analysis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 14:24:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 14:24:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/auctions-for-oil-and-gas-exploration-leases-in-india-an-empirical-analysis/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27468 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-08-22 10:05:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-08-22 09:05:02 [post_content] => In January 2013, the Government of India began deregulating the retail price of diesel by permitting Oil Marketing Companies to progressively raise retail prices over a period of several months, until their losses from the subsidization of diesel were completely offset. This policy decision represents one of the final stages of the ‘decontrol’ of prices for diesel and gasoline. Two key questions which arise from these recent measures are (a) whether they will play a role in slowing the pace of growth in India’s oil consumption, and (b) whether they have impacted the structure of India’s demand for petroleum products, and whether these reforms could make a difference to the economic situation in relation to fuel subsidies. This Comment therefore focuses on the potential impacts of these important reforms on Indian diesel demand.   The argument in this Comment can be viewed as being in three parts. The first looks at the Indian reforms in the context of wider literature on the response of demand to the progressive elimination of subsidies – arguing that, contrary to the expectation that higher prices lead to a reduction in demand, for a developing economy like India, the demand for diesel is likely to continue growing as income effects are stronger than price effects. However, the second argues that the price effects by themselves are quite complex; the lag between reforming the prices of different petroleum products, and the relative price changes which have prompted substitution between them, complicates the dynamics of demand. And third, it argues that India’s system of differential taxation at the state level could lead to outcomes completely different to those intended by reform at the federal level, particularly in relation to subsidy removal. [post_title] => Diesel Pricing Reforms in India – a Perspective on Demand [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diesel-pricing-reforms-in-india-a-perspective-on-demand [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 14:40:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 14:40:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/diesel-pricing-reforms-in-india-a-perspective-on-demand/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28212 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2011-08-22 10:31:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-08-22 09:31:20 [post_content] => In 2004 a large discovery of oil was made in Rajasthan, a relatively poor state in north-west India. Oil began to flow in 2009. The estimated total hydrocarbons resource base in Rajasthan is 6.5 billion barrels, and the fields are estimated to have the potential to reach output levels of over 200,000 barrels of oil per day. The quantities of oil that are expected to be produced, and their resulting revenues, are significant, but unlikely to be transformative to the state’s finances. However, given low levels of economic and human development, effectively-spent resource revenues could have a significant impact on the welfare of Rajasthan’s citizens.  This paper discusses options for the use and management of oil revenues in Rajasthan, picking up the challenge from the point at which revenues start to flow to the government. The receipt and expenditure of oil revenues are matters for fiscal policy, and we consider them in the context of India’s federal system, where fiscal responsibility is divided between the federal government and state governments. Drawing on international experience, we discuss how resource revenues are spent in practice, and how they might better be used to benefit the citizens who ultimately own them. [post_title] => Oil Revenues and Economic Development: The Case of Rajasthan, India [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => oil-revenues-and-economic-development-the-case-of-rajasthan-india-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 15:03:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 15:03:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/oil-revenues-and-economic-development-the-case-of-rajasthan-india-2/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28227 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2011-05-03 15:16:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-05-03 14:16:21 [post_content] => In 2010, the Indian government increased the price of ‘administered’ gas to more than double its previous level, in a significant policy change. This move, whilst appearing to signal a reduction in distortions on one side of the policy equation (that is, the price paid to gas producers by marketing and retailing companies), highlights distortions on the other side (the complex subsidy regime for prices paid by some gas users to retailers), essentially pushing the focus onto downstream consuming sectors. This paper argues that the transition in the gas sector is part of the larger movement of the economy from a centrally planned and administered system to one based on market principles. During transition, the situation cannot be understood simply in terms of the conventional paradigm of demand and supply being brought into balance by price. Demand and supply are influenced by different factors, but have been kept broadly in balance by the complex system of administered pricing and quantitative allocation. The resulting distortions have been spread across the gas consuming sectors – notably power and fertilisers. As distortions mount, parts of the system are modified, usually in the broad direction of liberalisation and reform. But partial reform often has the effect of displacing the problems, presenting further challenges, and requiring further changes. Large changes in the pricing and allocation of gas cannot therefore occur without finding other ways of addressing distributional objectives. The paper argues that official forecasts of demand and supply, although optimistic, are based on a ‘planner’s outlook’, and a better assessment of the role of gas may be found in the price competitiveness of gas with alternative fuels in its main consuming sectors. It draws from experience in the oil sector, where prices were liberalised in 2010 for all but the poorest segments of consumers – thus in gas, the paper argues that there is a case for considering market prices in the gas sector, and providing the subsidy directly to the end-user in the fertiliser sector, where the distributional concerns appear most significant. The paper argues that although reforms are taking place, the current situation is essentially a half-way house, and it suggests ways forward from this through the resolution of specific problems on the supply and demand sides. [post_title] => Natural Gas in India: An Analysis of Policy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => natural-gas-in-india-an-analysis-of-policy-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-20 15:03:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-20 15:03:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/natural-gas-in-india-an-analysis-of-policy-2/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29199 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2011-01-30 15:12:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-01-30 15:12:47 [post_content] => On January 28 2011, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies held a one-day conference on ‘Regulation of Oil Markets: Current Reforms and Implications’. The conference focused on 1) The inter-linkages between the physical and financial layers in the current international oil pricing system and the role of these linkages in the oil price discovery process; 2)An assessment and evaluation of the current regulatory reforms of oil derivatives and the implications of these regulatory changes on the price discovery process oil trading activity and the long-term strategies of market participants. The group of participants included key senior figures from government oil companies the financial industry and academia. The conference was conducted under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution. [post_title] => Regulation of Oil Markets: Current Reforms and Implications [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => regulation-of-oil-markets-current-reforms-and-implications [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 15:13:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 15:13:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=29199 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 22 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31143 [post_author] => 111 [post_date] => 2018-08-15 11:57:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-15 10:57:29 [post_content] => Economic diversification has been a key developmental goal for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) oil producers for decades as evidenced in their various national development plans. Some countries have made progress over the last few decades in diversifying their economic base and their sources of income. But despite these efforts, most indicators of economic complexity, diversity, and export quality continue to be lower in oil-exporting Arab economies than even in many emerging market economies, including commodity exporters in other regions. Of late, a renewed sense of urgency has arisen around the issue of economic diversification. The conventional wisdom that dominated oil market behaviour over the past few decades has been based around the idea of ‘peak oil supply’ and ‘scarcity rents’, and that preserving resources for the future by rationing supplies provided a sensible way of managing a country’s oil fairly across generations. The pendulum has swung to the notions of ‘peak oil demand’ and ‘oil abundance’ – where the pace of oil demand growth is expected to slow over time and eventually plateau/decline, resulting in stranded assets. It is generally thought that the world is on the brink of another ‘energy transition’ in which conventional energy sources such as oil will eventually be substituted away in favour of low or zero carbon energy sources. Rather than debating its definition or measurement, this presentation adds context to the debate on economic diversification, by analysing it against the arguments around peak oil demand and the energy transition – it looks at three questions: how soon can we expect ‘peak oil demand’ to occur, or alternatively, how fast is the current ‘energy transition’? What kind of economic future should MENA countries be planning for? And, how does the emergence of renewables as a competitive energy source impact economic diversification strategies in these countries? The presentation argues that the starting point of any analysis of MENA oil exporting countries should not be based on an approach solely predicated upon the premise that oil will no longer be in demand and that the oil sector will play a marginal role. The diversification strategy adopted by oil exporting countries will be conditioned by the speed of the energy transition, during which the oil sector will continue to play a key role in these economies including in their diversification efforts. At the same time, oil producers will need to be far more strategic in their use of the energy sector to diversify their economies. In a more competitive world, oil policy will also continue to matter; cooperation between oil producers will be imperative, yet challenging. Executive Summary [post_title] => Economic Diversification in the Context of Peak Oil and the Energy Transition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => economic-diversification-context-peak-oil-energy-transition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-15 11:57:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-15 10:57:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=31143 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 22 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => d95fa389366953721ca5b3d7d1b0c809 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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