Reinforcing Feedbacks, Time Spreads and Oil Prices

While the media often focuses on the sharp swings in oil price, there have been some interesting reinforcing feedbacks unfolding in the term structure of oil prices affecting the international pricing system, financial investment, inventories and OPEC behaviour. These feedbacks are not new to the oil market, but the current environment seems to have amplified these price distortions. This comment discusses some of these feedbacks and price distortions and tries to draw some lessons from the period 1997-2009.

By: Bassam Fattouh

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