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The correlation between oil prices and international crises

Info: 5456 words (22 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Economics

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High prices of oil and steady resource depletion have raised international concerns for energy supply security. Thriving exploration is a significant factor and activity for future oil production. The global economy is currently experiencing high level of international business forces acting upon its stableness. International oil prices relation to international crisis is an essential element in the global economy. This study reveals the insights and effects of oil and gas exploration in the international crisis. This research paper presents the effects of oil prices on the international relations. The paper presents the strategies and the requirement in filling these effects by providing empirical findings on oil price volatility in relation to international trade, international terrorism, natural disasters, wars, global economic stability, global financial crises, politically instigated crises among other international variables. The foundation for this research is the correlation between oil prices and international relation. The paper presents the preliminary results and information derived from the data currently being generated by the international economy, international trade and other global organization economic watchdogs

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This paper explores whether there is stable and reliable oil price shocks relationship with the U.S Dollar nominal exchange rate and other countries currency. Regardless of the state of art methodologies and precise data, I find inconsistently slight logical relation between oil prices and the exchange rate. The paper generally focuses on the international crisis conduct with the emphasis on the strategies development in the detailed results of the research. These include the conflicts resolutions on the international oil prices settlements. I reviewed several prominent hypothesis and theories, methodologies about the resolution of the crisis especially to the western and the Middle East countries which are the most oil competing countries. The paper investigates factors contributing to the increase of oil price. The crude oil demand and supply and development of a crude oil prices model to include refinery utilization rates is discussed. This brings an OPEC capacity utilization non linear effect. In developing the oil prices correlation to international crisis the project focuses on the following major areas of study: Positive and negative factors that affect the international oil prices. The effects of oil and natural gas price on the global economy especially the West (Ratner, 2011). Effects of oil price on international economic variables. Finally the project outlines the relationship between oil prices and international crises.

This analysis explores and study’s two oil effects of oil companies that they have branches in Saudi Arabia. One is Aramco Company and Drilling Company, as their major operation is oil and they face the financial crisis in that time. The company’s among others has brought the price shocks on U.S. and international economic growth.

Key Words

International crisis, Budget Deficit, Consumer Price Index, OPEC, foreign policy crisis, crisis management, conflict management, decision making, Oil prices, Refinery industry, , Inflation, Real Wage, Purchasing Power Parity, GPD(Gross Domestic Product).


The rapid rise in the oil price is subject to debate on which many economists expresses different views. The crude oil supply from the main oil producers and other downstream sectors are perceived to have the answer to the high rise of the oil prices. The refining capacity in many countries is falling and many existence refineries have unscheduled maintain ace leading to collapse of the oil refinery thus high prices. The major oil crude oil producers from Middle East have experienced difficulties in production sufficiency in ensuring the linear supply of the oil across the globe. Oil shortage expectations are also influential on the oil prices. Major international oil regulatory organizations such as the OPEC and OECD are playing major roles in regulating the oil prices as it greatly affects the international crises. Determination of the oil prices is affected by the existence of relationship non linearity between oil prices and market delivered quantity. Extreme events of linear relationship may shift the market stability between supply and demand towards different types of market. In this context, the oil prices are much more sensitive to shocks than under normal conditions. Non-linearity between oil prices and the market may be caused by lags related with development of additional extraction and refining capacity (Ratner, 2011). As the production approaches the oil prices is more sensitive to supply under the given constraint.

The cost of doing business increases with increase in energy prices, which tends to erode corporate profits, thus lower stock prices in the market. Higher oil prices have usually spelled bad news for most companies, excluding the oil and energy-related firms. It seems that the recent global financial crisis may have altered some fundamental rules of market behavior. Oil and stocks now make for strange bedfellows (Palash R. Ghosh, 2010). Oil prices and the U.S. stocks have moved in opposite directions. Oil prices are considered to be among the fundamental determinants of the global economic performance (Krichene, 2008). The adjustment of the oil prices leads to changes in terms of trade between oil exporting countries and importing counties. The changes are normally caused by the transfer of income and resources from the importing to the exporting countries (Richter & Pahl, 2009).The degree of oil prices adjustments in global economies is based on the proportionate cost of oil to national income, the extent of dependence by end-users to imported oil and their flexibility to switch to other sources of energy such as solar energy, oil sands, ethanol, biodiesel, wind energy, coal mine methane,  geothermal energy, nuclear energy,  hybrid cars, LNG, GTL, and hydrogen fuel cells , and also dependant on the responsiveness of gas prices to the oil-prices adjustments and the level of gas intensiveness of the respective economy (Krichene 2008). This is the impact of oil prices adjustments to the other sources of energy available in a respective economy (Richter & Pahl, 2009). The higher the margin of oil prices adjustments and the longer the new prices are sustained, the greater the macroeconomic impact on the global economy. Oil is the primary source of energy in almost all of the major industries in the global economy. This research seeks to analyze the correlation between oil prices and international crises

Literature Review

International Crisis:

According to Holsti (1991), based on the systems perspective of international crisis, he defined international crisis as the circumstance or situation where normal nature of relations between countries is significantly changed. For example, the uprising in Egypt is a situation that erupted in the international system leading to conflicting interactions against domination of nations globally. Trumbore, (2000) argued that international crisis follows certain stages of progress. These stages include; the pre-crisis warning phase, the crisis phase, crisis abatement phase and finally post-crisis phase, it’s during a crisis that real leadership is tested. This is mainly because normally during the first stage of a crisis, no attention is normally taken. During the second phase when the crisis has taken ground, there is chain of events followed by panic, and control measures from decision makers such as the government. The crisis is normally later controlled before or after causing damage. Holsti (1980) observes that during the last phase, the post-crisis, evaluation and preventive measures are normally put in place.

Factors Affecting Oil Prices and its Effects on the Global Economy especially the West.

Fluctuations in oil prices have an effect on certain fundamental variants such as nominal wage, real wages, consumer price index, purchasing power parity, budget deficit inflation rate among other macroeconomic variables. (Richter & Pahl, 2009). According to Krichene (2008), oil prices are primarily affected by its demand, natural disaster, and political unrests. In addition, Krichene (2008) asserts that restrictive legislation, declining oil productions and speculative buying also influence oil prices significantly. Economic empirical research shows that, when the global economy is exposed to higher oil prices, it leads to inflation, increase in input costs and decrease in investment. The West has been the major casualty of economic shocks caused by oil price fluctuations since it destabilizes their growth capacity which is largely dependent on oil (Richter & Pahl, 2009). Comparative to the West, emerging economies are less hit by effects of oil prices in the short-run in form of inflationary side effects. However, in the long-run, negative effects from the West normally trickle down to the emerging economies (Richter & Pahl, 2009). Systematically, global economic effects caused and compounded by the adjustments in oil prices directly or indirectly affect international crises. For instance, the recent international crises, such as the devastating earth quake in Japan, the Arab countries in uprising, the rebels’ activities in Libya are speculated to dampen progress made on the global economic recession especially in the West (Ratner, 2011).

Oil prices and International Crisis:

Ratner (2011) an analyst in Energy Policy has observed that with the resent resignation of the long-time Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the aftermath to the natural gas and oil sector is uncertain. In fact, analysts’ globally acknowledge that the impact of a disrupted Egypt’s oil, natural gas, and or the closure of the Suez Mediterranean oil pipeline and the Suez Canal would be catastrophic to the world natural gas and oil market (Ratner, 2011).The uprising in Egypt has already led to adjustments in oil prices globally in anticipation of an international crisis. Even though Egypt is technically considered a small player in the international oil industry, its instability still has severe implication in the global market. This gives evidence of an existing relation between international crisis and oil prices. As the chief regional supplier, the most affected would be Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt accounts for only an average of 2.1% of global oil and natural gas supply with a proven 1.2% of world’s gas reserves (Ratner, 2011).Away from oil production, the recent devastating Japan’s earthquake has already send aftershocks around the global market. In addition to the loss of over 10 000 people, destruction of Japan’s nuclear power plants leading to radiations emissions, there is a pending economic international crisis. Due to the earth quake impact on the Japanese economy, the production to cars is expected to decline sharply leading to adjustment in prices of oil. This suggest there direct or indirect relationship between the prices of oil and international crisis.

The instability in Libya has also led to the soaring of global oil prices which has had led to inflationary pressures globally. Libya holds most of the oil reserves in Africa and it is actually the 15th largest crude oil exporter accounting for 1.2 million barrels of oil daily. It is feared that production losses in this North African country are bound to be absorbed by countries such as Saudi Arabia as a mechanism of compensating for the shortage.


Study of oil prices in global economic and international crisis is an important entity. There is need for study of the relation with international crises .Research on the correlation between oil prices and international crises is important because the findings from this study will address most of the international crises in the world. In the recent global financial crisis, the findings from this research will be essential to control, mitigate effects on the global economy and forestall reoccurrence of the negative impacts in the future. Understanding the correlation of oil prices with international crises such as wars, poverty, the Arab uprisings, situation in Afghanistan, the struggles in Iraq among others would be influential to policy makers in coming up with conclusive political and macroeconomic policies. The research inclusively enhances the global trade market in understanding the root cause of the products price increase. It opens fresh ground and enhances the studies of oil alternative source of energy to reduce overdependence on oil as the primary source of energy. Furthermore, the results from this research will also enhance international relations among nations. Also it will add empirical findings to the existing body of knowledge to the nature of oil and now its relation with international crises.

The sustained growth of international business over the past two decades is one of the most significant and dramatic trends across the globe in reducing the international crisis. Business market and trade of most goods and services have significantly expanded with the development in the effective financial implementations in the world (Holsti, 1991). The effect of the oil prices is widely felt in many products but the international business is working towards reducing the oil prices effects. The integration of technology, investments, communication has enhanced the today’s global trade and business connecting the world economies together. Corporate empires emergence in the global economy has changed the business platform which has enhanced the globalization of production (Trumbore, 2000).

Problem Statement

Today’s foreign policy devise policies without understanding fundamental variables influencing international crisis in regard to oil prices and vice versa. The crude oil supply from the main oil producers and other downstream sectors are perceived to have the answer to the high rise of the oil prices. The refining capacity in many countries is falling and many existence refineries have unscheduled maintenance leading to collapse of the oil refinery thus high prices. The major oil crude oil producers from Middle East have experienced difficulties in production sufficiency in ensuring the linear supply of the oil across the globe.

The empirical study at the two Saudi Arabian oil companies reveals that, the international crisis has an influential factor from these particular companies. Aramco Company and Drilling Company are oil production companies in Saud Arabian region on which they are currently facing the financial crisis. Their conditions on the futures markets have an effect on stock behaviors thus the oil price setting. Their crude oil prices model is increasingly rising affecting the international oil prices. This includes the refinery utilization rates, OPEC capacity utilization non linear effect and deteriorating of futures markets conditions. These are the explanatory variables that exist between the international crisis and the crude oil production. The drilling company is generally on critical conditions as the finding shows the employee’s satisfaction thus unstable expertise in the company. This further contributes to low level of productions. There is also incapacity of the crude oil storage thus the production level is dependent on the capacity storage. The adjustment of the oil prices in the companies shows a rapid rise anticipated by high level of production cost. According to the company’s work force, the oil exploitation processes which involves the ground drilling is gradually becoming complex. This has led to an increase in exploitation costs as more resources are required thus affecting the oil prices. The low level of production has led to international crisis as the company’s are struggling to sustain the global oil market. There is resistance by some of the company’s workforce to the declines in wages as the oil price increase and the international crisis typically causes an upward pressure on nominal wage levels. External forces such as the Oil regulating organization which includes OPEC is also affecting the company’s marketing position due to the unfavorable policies (Holsti, 1991). According to the company’s expertise the there has been maintenance of a low stock in provision of efficient oil. They urge that sufficient stock ensures the supply sustainability thus avoiding the oversupply or under supply of the oil.

The methodology used to explore the company’s conditions on the oil prices involves the updated quarterly data set. The data set is used in estimating the price equation which involves an expansion to accommodate other market conditions across the globe. The wide range of variables enables the estimation of the oil prices co integrating relationship in the company’s. Quarterly data set used in evaluating OPEC effect on the oil prices in the company includes observation of the average imported oil from the company. The data showed a decrease in the average as the price rises up. The oil production and the rate of refinery utilization in the company affect the global oil prices thus international crisis. Essentially, co integration between the international oil prices entails that the exploitation rates across the world share the same stochastic trend. Different stochastic trends in oil production and refining rates prevent co-integration among different types of oil prices when the exploitation rates do not share the same stochastic trend. Refinery utilization rates and the exploitation affect crude oil prices based on the company’s refineries ability of crude oil conversion to final products. Essentially there are different qualities of crude oil which includes the sweet and sour as well as the heavy and light. The companies’ oil exploitation and refineries are designed to specifically operate in specific crudes. Therefore there is rise and fall of crude values based on the availability of specific types of crude relative to existing refining capacity. Lack of efficient refining capacity has contributed to the rise of the oil prices and international crisis in the company Trumbore, (2000). The company’s also lacks the sufficient oil production capacity and existence of a non-linear relationship between supply and the oil prices.


The results acquired from the data collected are generally categorized into the three hypotheses which were the guidelines of the empirical testing. The company’s oil prices have a considerable level of impact on the international oil market. Empirical investigation on the company’s oil production activities presented their effect on the international crisis. The analyzed data collected from the companies showed diverse reactions from different collected materials. The increase on the oil exploration costs in the company’s has been a major cause of their low level crude oil production. This has an impact of international financial crises on the oil price as they adjust the prices now and then for profitable returns.

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The correlation relationships between the oil price and the financial crisis of the company have been a major hindrance of the company’s growth. Results indicated that the oil refining sector plays a vital role in the recent oil price increase. This effect is related with shifts in the heavy and light grades production of crude oil as well as the price stretch between them. Existence of non linear relationships between OPEC spare capacity and oil prices account for real oil prices changes. The conditions on the futures markets also affect the non linear relationship. Many experts urge that the high oil prices on the global economy are contributed by a number of factors which with the change in oil prices. The changes in GDP were small as compared with past economic recession. The period of oil price shocks experienced drops on GDP growth. The increase in oil prices has affected most of the oil importing countries and the OECD countries.

Oil prices and the global economy

There exists a paradox and complicated relationship between oil prices and the economics. Production functions used by many economists are basically net of the purchased input. Saudi Arabia production is anticipated to rise within few years due to the experienced bubble in 2008. The oil prices fluctuations effects experienced on 1973 cannot be ignored. It left a great damage to global economy. The debate on the relationship and the effect of the oil prices on the economic activity is complicated by methodology issues. The substance also raises argument on the oil price in relation to economic activity (Trumbore, 2000).

The current prices uses the consumer price indexes in economic data deflation recorded in current oil prices. Many of the oil consumers are industrial and commercial enterprises with a distance from the ultimate consumers. Frequently a rise on the oil price can bring the recession although extended economic growth period can provoke an oil prices increase. The principle drivers on the prolonged economic growth seem to have a history of great recession on the nation’s economy. Failure of the country in financial crisis anticipation brings about the great recession. The impact of the oil prices rise is normally nonlinear and asymmetrical as the dollar per barrel increase has different impact on a dollar per barrel decrease at another. Symbolically what rises does not necessary falls the same way. In essence it is difficult to forecast the oil prices demand, and supply for the oil production than it is for the other industries.

Oil production industry is relatively different from many other industries. From my preliminary research there is a declining of pressure in majority of reservoirs across the globe. The declining level is sustained by the injection of natural gas, CO2, water or any other energy source. The prompted injection and the consequent cleaning of the crude in the surface consume energy. The processes of extracting the oil from underground are even more energy exhaustive.

The energy consumed further increase the oil prices in the market contributing to the international crisis. The high level of technologically complex oil industry complicates the whole economical process which often takes long period of time to commercial fruition. Fluctuation of the oil prices is great than many industrial prices. Many producers especially the Middle East producers have taken long full production periods after the completion of the initial geological work. Thus oil drillers easily fear the risks in prices and other economic activity. The Middle East countries which are the major oil producers have been vulnerable to wars and attacks from terrorism. The terrorism activities have made the oil production unstable due to vulnerability of attacks in the regions. According to studies the Saudi Arabia region is vulnerable to criminal activities thus the oil producing companies fears the attacks. There marine oil transportation has been also faced threats from the pirates and other encountered problem in the transportation process. Large amount of European oil is imported through the Red sea between the Yemen and Somali(Richter, & Pahl, 2009). There have been many cases of tankers hijacking in seas leading to loss of large amount of capital. This increase the international crisis as the producers is unable to fully exploit oil or transport it due to fear of losses. Heterogeneous nature of the oil market contributes to slow growth of the economy. Many operates in a decentralized and competitive market thus a forms a postulated mainstream.

There is an excessive gross margin since the World War II. The international oil prices have intensified the international crisis on which it had defied a competitive market equilibriums basic rule. The margins have currently exceeded the addition cost of oil barrel production. Saudi Arabia region was the supplier of last resort in the period of $2 oil price but its oil costs has incrementally risen to 13% per oil barrel. Today there is no clear indication of the last resort supplier nor the incremental cost due to international crisis experienced. Most of the estimates on the gross margin are apparently below the recent years, market prices of the fuel. Consequently, the incremental gross margins comprehended by oil producing nations are positive. Most of them have a large average gross margins based on the variation between market average prices and out-of-pocket average costs. This provides the correlation between the oil crisis and the international crisis.

The oil prices are non equilibrium but there is existence of equilibrium ranges of the oil prices. This leads to an elusive and fragile economic growth in the world. The equilibrium ranges are generated from the time lags of oil processing and transportation. To avoid the time lag oil producers uses the future and forward markets for speculative and hedging purposes. These markets have a major effect on the international crisis on which they become vulnerable to other markets players. These players lay off the bets from other markets and all of a sudden enter the futures markets triggering crisis. The players who are initially the speculators brings about the conflicts in the oil market increasing the international crisis. In the recent oil run up of 147 dollar per barrel, the futures market speculators are estimated to have increased the oil prices from 10 dollar to 20 dollar thus risking the international price of oil.

Oil Prices and the Currency Market

Oil plays an important role in the global currency market. The price of oil increased dramatically in 2008 when the US dollar value fall as compared to the other currencies. The relationship is that, when the dollar gets weak in its value leads to increase in oil prices thus international crisis. Oil is a very important resource as it is the main source of energy in many production industries. The rising prices have big impact on the inflation of the international economy as it creates added fuel surcharges. The surcharges therefore trigger the core inflation of the world economy as central banks maintain high interest rates.

Deficits in nations have increasingly grown with the occurrence of the global economic crisis that started in 2008 due to high oil prices. This has led to global economic effect and the international crisis across the globe on which many economists urges that country should run deficits during periods of recession and those of high unemployment. Financial markets across the globe expresses have expresses fears due to increased in oil prices. They have expressed some behavioral characteristics and explanations of the largely market outcomes particularly of financial flows of both policymakers and investors significant practical consequences of the international crisis.


Oil prices can be correlated positively to international financial markets as seen from the company’s empirical study. The world basic products rise as the prices as the price of oil continued to rise, thus this is far much correlated. The period between 2003 and 2006, the world experienced an economic growth. It is easy to make a correlation at this time period as the period experienced the businesses success in many major industries that led to the market rise. At this period the oil price rose as well, though the two were not really it correlated. Financial analysts argue that oil doesn’t necessarily bring a positive correlation to the financial markets. Alternatively financial markets perform well while the price of oil is rising. Negative correlation commonly accepted relationship between financial markets and oil prices. Many companies spend more when the oil prices are high to run their business. The logical explanation to this is that most companies ship their products. Companies also use oil as the source of the energy for the production machinery. Therefore oil is a prime factor in the international crisis.

The price of oil and inflation

The oil price and inflation are more connected in grounds and effect relationship.  Inflation follows the oil price movement; as the prices of oil moves down or up, it is accompanied by inflation in the same direction. This is because, oil is plays a major role in economic input. It is widely used vital activities thus the rise of input costs leads to increase of cost of end products. The raise of pricing increases the inflation level. The inflation led to the development of the consumer price index (CPI) which measures the inflation. The deterioration of the relationship between inflation and oil started after the 1980s. Generally the wars of the 1990’s at Gulf War oil crisis led to doubling of oil prices.

The expansion of the foreign exchange to incorporate the oil stocks has affected both the domestic financial accounts and international clients hedging activities. This has been reflected in international crisis as many corporations struggles to sustain their dominance in the market. The foreign exchange is much dominated by the U.S dollar which is followed by the euro and sterling. Emerging oil markets and the international business exposure of many oil producing countries has increased the hedging activities in the foreign exchange. The degree of exchange rate flexibility and the movement of capital across the globe have increased high level of inflation risks. Oil export strategies are underpinned by valued exchange rates generating precedential reserve accumulation in the exchange rate adjustment. Capitals exporting in oil finance investment have been considerable drivers of lower global long-term interest rates in the international business (Richter, & Pahl, 2009). The oil shocks have affected the world trade structure.

Macroeconomic Impacts of High Oil Prices

A high oil demand arises from the products demand that uses oil in their production. Changes in oil prices are shared by the consumers in the prices of the final oil products. The foreign producers are spending more on importing their goods to their respective countries due to high level of fuel prices. Many countries economic purchasing powers are depleted and instead there has been a high level of deficit on many economies(Richter, & Pahl, 2009). This is due to high level of borrowing due to budget overruns of many countries. This has further contributed to international crisis across the globe.

The increased price of the oil forces many country’s businesses to invest heavily on the exports production, as opposed to available domestic demand for goods and services. This occurs even though the capacity of foreign oil consumed has no change.  The radical change of oil prices leads to loss of economy as macroeconomic frictions avoid rapid nominal prices changes in the final product. The high oil prices experienced leads to the reluctance of the organizations on lowering the wages and others even losing employment in an effort of cutting the company’s expenditure. The state of economy is increased and the macroeconomic policies taken at the moment may dampen or heighten the relentlessness of adverse macroeconomic effects. Large and sudden increase in prices has adverse impacts on short-term growth. This growth may be much larger if there is gradual high price, as sudden oil price shocks leads to panic of the firms and households. This increases the international tension on which the prices prevent them from creation of the near term optimal decisions.  Economic policies which followed after the high inflation experience highly affected the longer term economic impact of high oil prices. The impacts cannot be removed but many oil producing countries has been moderating them. The moderation of these policies has created the crisis with many economies struggling to attain the oil importation from a more reliable source. On the contrary, inappropriate economic policies intensify the adverse high oil price impacts. Exceeding


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