I was somewhat surprised to see this recently appear in a report on the future of energy published by HSBC. In a summary of that report just provided to me:
OPEC plays a tantalising game of making oil just about affordable and supply just about enough to make other energy sources expensive.
“Opec tries to manage oil prices to maximise revenue while at the same time keeping prices below the level that might encourage investment in long-term, unconventional supplies of liquid fuels (such as tar sands and biofuels) or promote efficiency improvements,” HSBC notes. “After all, some members have many years of reserves left and need to ensure that oil has a long-term role in the energy equation.”
Is OPEC that manipulative in deciding how to supply crude oil? I was very surprised to see an institution such as HSBC make this type of statement.