Changes in United States Crude Oil Prices Over Time: 1972-1996


This research analyzed the price of crude oil in the United States over time. The findings of this analysis are presented as follows: (1) definition of the product; (2) nature of the product; (3) major competitors; (4) other factors relevant to the price of the product; (5) specification of variables for the analysis; (6) results of the statistical analysis; (7) forecasts based on the statistical model; and (8) limitations of the forecast.

The product for which prices are analyzed in this study is crude oil sold in the United States. Crude oil is unrefined petroleum extracted from geological reserves. The period for which prices are analyzed is the 25-year inclusive period 1972-1996.

Crude oil sold in the United States includes crude petroleum extracted in the United States, as well as that imported into the United States. Further, crude oil, whether extracted domestically or in foreign countries, is available in several grades, which are based primarily upon the efforts that will be required to refine the product. The prices of crude oil used in the analysis in this research represents a weighted mean price of all of the crude oil sold in the United States. The weighted mean prices for crude oil used in this research are those compiled, weighted, and reported by the United States Energy Information Administration.

Major competitors in the production of crude oil typically are viewed as the producing petroleum companies that extract the crude oil from the geological crude oil reserves. For this research, however, the major competitors are considered to be domestic producers, which includes all crude oil production that occurs within the United States, and foreign producers, which includes all crude oil imported into the United States, regardless of the home country of the corporation responsible for the extraction of the crude oil from t…

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