CEPMLP Honorary Professor Carol Dahl visits centre

Our newly appointed honorary professor Carol Dahl visited the centre recently. Professor Dahl is also a Senior Fellow in the Payne Institute of Earth Resources and Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor in the Mineral and Energy Economics Program at the Colorado School of Mines, USA, an annual visiting Professor in the Economics Program, Luleå University of Technology, and an Adjunct Professor at the Academy of China Energy Strategy, China University of Petroleum-Beijing.

On 1 February, Professor Dahl gave a talk at the staff seminar on “White Knights or White Elephants: Modelling and Evaluating Strategic Petroleum Reserves”. In this talk, Professor Dahl reviewed the history on oil markets and disruptions that led to the petroleum reserves, the justifications made for market failure requiring government interference, and an overview of the modelling strategies and economic studies relating to strategic stockpiles. She presented some ongoing work that models and quantifies the costs and benefits of the U.S. strategic reserves. The cost components of the SPR are facilities, maintenance, operation and oil fill. The benefits are measured for the three significant drawdowns of the U.S. SPR (Gulf War (1991), Hurricane Katrina (2005), and the Libyan Revolution (2011)). The benefit of these drawdowns to temper the price increases was the avoidance of the negative effects of the otherwise higher price and includes welfare costs in the U.S. oil market and the macroeconomic adjustment loss.

On the same day, Professor Dahl kicked off the Centre’s Wednesday visiting speaker series by delivering a talk entitled “U.S. Energy Policy: Where Has It Been and Where Might It Go Next?” to students and staff. In this talk, Professor Dahl explored situations where energy markets have failed, some of the energy policies the U.S. and other countries have implemented to address these failures, and whether the policies have been considered successful or not. The talk is concluded with some speculation on how the Trump administration might affect the direction of energy policy.

Professor Dahl also led a writing workshop for PhD students. 12 postgraduate research students participated in the two day workshop. The workshop was well received by the participants. It gave the participants an idea of what people will think of their writing and see if they get their points across. One participant said she gained back her confidence as the discussion on her paper helped her to get a clearer idea about what she was trying to say. “The workshop was very great and we would love to have it again!” said Theresia Betty Sumarno, PhD Research Student and President of Society of Petroleum Engineers.