• Focus Area -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 October 2016


We examine quarterly oil price forecasts from the Survey of Professional Forecasters conducted by the European Central Bank. We present three empirical findings, all of which are robust to the number of respondents considered. First, the dispersion of forecasts is correlated positively with the average forecast error for all forecast horizons. Second, at the current and next quarter horizons, the oil price volatility observed through to the end of the forecast horizon statistically explains the disagreement among oil forecasters. Third, we use the disagreement among forecasters to derive a measure of the price volatility which is correlated well with the volatility observed ex post. When the forecast horizon is one quarter ahead, the disagreement-based volatility is equal to the price volatility observed subsequently, plus a small add factor. These results support the view that the disagreement among forecasters reflects the price volatility. © 2016 International Institute of Forecasters.


International Journal of Forecasting


Tarek Atalla

Tarek Atalla

Former Research Associate

Fred Joutz

Fred Joutz

Axel Pierru

Acting Vice President/ Program Director In February 2023, Axel Pierru was assigned as Acting Vice President of Knowledge and Analysis for the Center. He received…

In February 2023, Axel Pierru was assigned as Acting Vice President of Knowledge and Analysis for the Center. He received his Ph.D. in economics from University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France). He also holds an HDR degree, which is a French accreditation to supervise research. In 2007, Dr. Pierru was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (knighthood award in the academic field) by the French Ministry for National Education. He is the recipient of the 2023 OPEC Award for the Best Energy Research Paper (issued by OPEC for the first time).

In 2011 Dr. Pierru joined KAPSARC in Saudi Arabia, after spending 15 years at IFP Energies Nouvelles (France) where he led research, consulting and training projects and taught energy economics and finance to postgraduate students.

Dr. Pierru has served in various leadership positions at KAPSARC, including as interim Vice President for Research. Since 2014 he has been a program director, and currently he leads the Energy Macro & Micro-economics Program.

He undertakes applied research that combines methodological innovation with practical relevance for policymaking. His expertise covers energy economics, policy, finance, modeling, the oil market, and commodity-exporting economies.

Dr. Pierru has a proven track record of methodological innovations with 50 journal papers to his name. He has been a key contributor to the development of novel lines of research, such as the role of OPEC in stabilizing the oil market, the economic modeling of price controls, or the evaluation of investment projects by international oil companies facing various tax systems.

He also coauthored with Denis Babusiaux the book Corporate Investment Decisions and Economic Analysis: Exercises and Case Studies (2005), which is the fruit of years of teaching, consulting and research, and contains numerous examples from the energysector.


  • Energy modelling
  • Energy economics
  • Energy policy
  • Oil pricing and finance

Publications See all Axel Pierru’s publications

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