• Research Interests International economic relations, regional and country studies and policy analysis

Biography

Philipp is a visiting researcher at KAPSARC, working on the economic and policy aspects of energy supply and trade. Philipp’s work at KAPSARC includes evaluating the effect of preferential trade agreements on energy flows, analysis of OPEC energy policy and deriving insights related to China’s energy policy and its impact on global markets through modeling energy supply sectors.

Publications

See all Philipp’s publications
  • Discussion papers
  • KAPSARC journal articles
  • External journal article
An Economic Analysis of China’s Domestic Crude Oil Supply Policies

An Economic Analysis of China’s Domestic Crude Oil Supply Policies

China’s domestic oil production has lagged the rapid growth in the country’s oil consumption since 2000, leading to a large, and growing, reliance on crude imports to meet demand. Factors including China’s current market structure and regulatory environment impede further development of the country’s oil industry, despite a number of policies aimed at protecting domestic producers. Using a short-run equilibrium model of China’s oil and gas supply industry, calibrated to 2016 data, the authors assessed the impact of market access barriers on China’s domestic production. Key findings included: Lifting all import constraints could have increased China’s import demand by around 0.29 million barrels per day in 2016. Opening China’s market to cheaper oil imports in 2016 could have saved approximately $2.8 billion, equivalent to 1.7% of the country’s oil supply costs, primarily due to import substitution for the roughly 9% of domestic production that operates uncompetitively. Improved utilization of the country’s pipeline network could cut China’s oil transportation costs by up to $600 million. The level of uneconomic oil production in China is highly sensitive to the international oil price. At $50/bbl about 9 million tonnes of domestic supplies are found to be uneconomic, accounting for about $2.5 billion of additional costs. At an average $80/bbl the number drops to 6.6 million tonnes, at a cost of $1.1 billion. Rising crude oil import prices since mid-2017 may allow policymakers to further deregulate China’s domestic oil sector.

May 28, 2019
Balancing Energy Security Priorities: A Portfolio Optimization Approach to Oil Imports

Balancing Energy Security Priorities: A Portfolio Optimization Approach to Oil Imports

The idea of energy security emerged after the energy crises of the 1970s. It has evolved from the initial paradigm of assuring sufficient energy supplies to include a price affordability perspective and, eventually, many other energy-related issues, such as infrastructure, environmental impacts, societal effects, energy efficiency and governance. However, security of physical supply and price affordability remain the paradigm’s two key pillars. This study applies financial portfolio theory to the energy security issues of East Asia’s four major energy importers: China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The authors calculate the relative risks associated with the dynamics of oil imports, and the import prices paid, and estimate the efficient frontiers for corresponding import portfolios. Lastly, the study runs several scenarios that simulate the effects of restructuring the four countries’ oil import portfolios and of external disruptions, notably US sanctions on Iranian oil sales. The paper’s key findings include: The short-run impact of a fully enforced Iranian oil export embargo would increase portfolio risk across the board, within a 3% to 15% range. However, the subsequent substitution of Iranian oil imports by other suppliers would prove beneficial for Japan and Taiwan. The risk premium associated with passing through the Malacca Straits would result in a 27.5% increase in price volatility for China’s oil imports, although the negative impact on its average import price level would be less pronounced, at 2.6% compared to between 5.2% and 5.8% for the other three importers.

May 28, 2019
An Estimation of the Drivers Behind OPEC’s Quota Decisions

An Estimation of the Drivers Behind OPEC’s Quota Decisions

This paper identifies key determinants that appear to shape OPEC’s quota strategy and implementation. Using econometric estimations, it examines the factors that seem to most influence members’ adherence to their production commitments in the short term and what drives the organization’s quota decisions and level of compliance in the longer term.

July 19, 2018
Potential Effects of Trade Liberalization on China’s Imports of Plastics From the GCC

Potential Effects of Trade Liberalization on China’s Imports of Plastics From the GCC

Petrochemical products, particularly plastics, contribute to a significant share of expanding and increasingly diverse trade flows between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and China. The petrochemical sector could benefit from a preferential bilateral trade regime between China and the GCC, but has been a bone of contention in the GCC-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation process. This study applies a dual-stage model of import demand functions to estimate the impact of trade liberalization scenarios, within an FTA framework, on China’s imports of major plastics from the GCC and the rest of the world. It assesses the implications of these scenarios for all parties.

June 4, 2018
The Economic Impact of Price Controls on China’s Natural Gas Supply Chain

The Economic Impact of Price Controls on China’s Natural Gas Supply Chain

Despite significant progress made by China in liberalizing its natural gas market, certain key areas such as market access and pricing mechanisms remain heavily monopolized or controlled by the government. To assess how such distortions impact the market, we developed a Mixed Complementarity Problem model of China’s natural gas supply industry, calibrated to 2015 data.

May 24, 2018
The Effect of Preferential Trade Agreements on Energy Trade from Chinese and Exporters’ Perspectives

The Effect of Preferential Trade Agreements on Energy Trade from Chinese and Exporters’ Perspectives

During periods of supply abundance that lead to lower prices, commodity exporters strive to secure their market share with major importing economies. This paper seeks to cast light on what drives an exporter’s share of Chinese imports of oil, gas and coal – and we find that the strategy behind achieving this goal need not rely on pricing policies alone. China has been promoting a trade agenda that seeks to strengthen economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region and has been extending negotiations aimed at developing relationships worldwide. The country is a major energy import powerhouse; its trade deals have significant impact on the international energy trade and global energy markets. We explore the role of energy in China’s preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and extend the trade gravity model to disaggregated trade flows, estimating the impact these agreements have on Chinese energy imports.

April 16, 2017
Potential Gains From Reforming Price Caps in China’s Power Sector

Potential Gains From Reforming Price Caps in China’s Power Sector

When energy sectors transition from government-controlled to market-driven systems, the legacy regulatory instruments can create unintended market distortions and lead to higher costs. In China, the most notable regulatory throwback is ceilings on electricity prices that generators can charge utilities, which are specified by plant type and region. We built a mixed complementarity model calibrated to 2012 data to examine the impact of these price caps on the electricity and coal sectors.

September 29, 2016
Economic Impacts of Debottlenecking Congestion in the Chinese Coal Supply Chain

Economic Impacts of Debottlenecking Congestion in the Chinese Coal Supply Chain

China’s coal industry grew at unprecedented rates during the first decade of the 2000s in order to support equally unprecedented economic growth. In that type of environment, it is impossible for the capacities of every link in the supply chain to be correctly sized all the time. In order to understand the consequences of such mismatches, KAPSARC has developed a production and multi modal transshipment model of China’s domestic coal market, calibrated to 2011 data. This allows us to examine what the global and domestic consequences might have been had the bottlenecks not existed in 2011.

September 7, 2015
The KAPSARC Energy Policy Database: Introducing a Quantified Library of China’s Energy Policies

The KAPSARC Energy Policy Database: Introducing a Quantified Library of China’s Energy Policies

Government policy is a critical factor in the understanding of energy markets. Governments create constraints and incentives that drive behavior through policy. In turn, these behaviors have fundamental impacts on the functioning of markets. Despite the critical role of policy, it is rarely approached systematically from a research perspective. One of the first and most basic steps in a systematic approach is gaining a precise understanding of what policies exist, their intended outcomes, their geographical extent, duration, and expected evolution. A systematic understanding of policy, with this level of detail, would enable the research community to answer a variety of questions that, for now, are either over-simplified or ignored. Policy, on its surface, is also a very unstructured and qualitative undertaking. There may be quantitative components, but policies are usually framed in sentences requiring interpretation of their meaning. This makes it difficult to incorporate an understanding of policy into quantitative approaches, other than by making assumptions as to the effect of policy in framing a quantitative model. The KAPSARC Energy Policy Database (KEPD) is intended to address these two energy policy research limitations. The methodology described in this paper could be applied to any set of energy policies, though this becomes a large task very quickly.

January 6, 2015

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