• Focus Area Future of Global Oil Markets Future of Global Oil Markets
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 5 August 2017


We develop a Global Oil Trade Model (GOTM) to examine the ability of large crude oil exporters or importers to influence inter-regional price differentials by allocating their sales or purchases respectively among different crude oil consuming or producing regions. The model is based on the trade-offs among freight costs, qualities of the crude oils traded and the technical configurations of refineries that process the crude oil. Our reference case (based on 2012 data) minimizes the sum of freight costs and the costs of processing sub-optimal grades of crude oil at a refinery. We model a large Middle East exporter allocating its supply regionally as the leader in a Stackelberg game where all other producers and importers are price takers on the competitive fringe. We then examine the ability of a coalition of importers in Asia to make countervailing strategic purchases rather than act as a price taker. We find that large sellers can increase their revenues while diversifying their customer base by allocating volumes to more distant markets if, by doing so, they capture locational rents from more proximate buyers. Large buyers are unable to reduce their costs compared to the competitive market outcome by adopting countervailing purchase strategies but have the potential to disrupt the rent-seeking of large sellers. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Energy Economics


Nader AlKathiri

Fellow Nader AlKathiri is a fellow in the Energy Macro & Microeconomics program. He currently leads a project exploring how different…

Nader AlKathiri is a fellow in the Energy Macro & Microeconomics program. He currently leads a project exploring how different energy transition pathways impact the economies of developing and developed countries, aiming to enhance our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in achieving net-zero emissions. Nader’s research has been published in several international peer-reviewed journals such as Energy Economics, Resources Policy, and Applied Economics. Nader holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Sussex and an M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences from KAUST. He also holds an MBA in Finance from Prince Sultan University and a B.Sc. degree in Operations Research from King Saud University.


  • Energy Economics; Economic Diversification; Macroeconomics; Development Economics; Energy Transition

Publications See all Nader AlKathiri’s publications

Tilak Doshi

Tilak Doshi

Frederic Murphy

Frederic Murphy

Visiting Researcher Frederic is professor emeritus, Fox School of Business, Temple University, where he taught for 30 years. He was a visiting… Frederic is professor emeritus, Fox School of Business, Temple University, where he taught for 30 years. He was a visiting researcher fellow at KAPSARC where he is participating in the development of energy models and writing policy analyses in a range of areas, including domestic energy use in Saudi Arabia, market power in world oil markets, designing and managing income stabilization funds, and China's and India's energy economies. He works mainly in the area of energy-market forecasting and energy policy analysis. Prior to joining Temple, he was at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor, the Federal Energy Administration, where he headed the group that did the economic impact analyses of the bills and laws passed during the Carter administration and developed and ran the forecasting models then used for policy analyses and the forecasts in the EIA Annual Report. He has authored over 100 refereed articles. In one study he was ranked in the 20 most published researchers in his field over a fifty-year span. He was the editor in chief of the journal Interfaces, an area editor for Operations Research, and the Informs Journal on computing, and the Vice President of Publications for INFORMS and its predecessor society, Operations Research Society of America. He has been involved in studying local economic policy issues, including advising the Tax Reform Commission of the City of Philadelphia, estimating the impact on jobs of building casinos in Philadelphia, and political redistricting. He also did a queueing study oil tank vessels on the Delaware River.


Yazeed Al Rashed

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