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How to View the Price of Oil and Gas in the International Market

Since the first oil shock of 1973, international oil prices have been independent of costs. Until now, the cost of drilling for oil and gas fields in the Middle East is still less than 610 per barrel. The high price of $50-60 / barrel is the result of a game of interest in the political economy between the OECD and the OPEC countries. The international oil market, which is more expensive than the cost, is carved up by the governments of resources and the multinationals that exploit it. If the cost of crude oil is $8 / barrel, when the price is $48 / barrel, the profit of $40, about half of that is taken away by resource taxes and export taxes, and the rest by oil companies. In the 1990s, 65% of the world's oil trade was sold to OECD countries, and by 2005 it was 60%. Oil prices are bad for oil consumers in OECD countries, but big global oil companies such as Mobile, BP, Shell and Exxon are also dominated and monopolized by OECD countries, and rising prices are good for the shareholders of these companies. So whether it's a price increase or fall, it's always the rich countries' profits, in addition to the tax increase of the resource countries. We just have to look at the New York stock market, when oil prices rise and oil stocks rise, it goes up. Oil prices depreciate, non-oil dividends, it's going to go up. Price increases are only bad for the developing countries that account for 40% of the oil trade.

According to the international energy agency, there are three possibilities for future oil prices. On the basis of about $60 per barrel now, the first is likely to continue to run high, reaching 70-80 or even $90. The second possibility is to oscillate, stabilize at $40-60, and the third possibility is to fall to $30 - $40. No one can accurately predict these three trends. However, the main factors that can be analyzed are: 1. The total amount of resources must be limited; The question is how much and when it runs out; The price must be high when the water is dry; 2. Scientific and technological progress. It is also possible to find new oil fields, new mining techniques, it can lower development costs and price increases; 3. Energy conservation. The high price of oil stimulates the development of alternative energy and new energy technologies, it reduces dependence on oil, and extends the exploitation and use of oil; 4. The political and economic situation. Iraq, Iran, etc., affect the Middle East and the international political situation and thus affect the oil price. Taken together, there are more likely to be the second.

In the second case, middle eastern countries, Indonesia, Russia, their domestic gas prices have nothing to do with international market prices. Russia's gas exports to the EU is $230 / 1000 m3; while the domestic is $59 / 1000 m3. The developing countries, which lack resources, have a better relationship with resource countries and they can enjoy the benefits through political ties. The cis countries, such as belarus and Ukraine, have been getting cheap gas from Russia. But when there is a political divide, pushing up gas prices is a political tool. Venezuela's domestic oil and gas prices are similar to those offered to friendly Latin American countries.

Third, the developing countries such as China have some resources but are not rich and must be imported from abroad. The relationship between domestic price and international price of natural gas presents an extremely complicated situation, which is discussed in the next section.