July 2012

Special Report: 90 Years of Progress in the HPI

The psychology of energy pricing: A look at market behavior during oil shocks

A review of the energy price shocks of the 1970s and 2000s shows the range and extent to which fundamental and technical factors may influence oil market sentiment.

Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Oil prices respond to a wide range of fundamental and technical factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, energy supply and demand; inventory levels; geopolitics; economics; weather events and natural disasters; shutdowns and startups at refineries, pipelines and oil rigs; and speculative trading. To understand how and why these factors are responsible for influencing the direction of energy prices, it is useful to examine how changes in market sentiment are driven by human responses to these factors. Energy markets are, at their cores, made up of people—producers, traders, suppliers, investors, consumers, etc. This means that markets are not only vulnerable to human em

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