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Understanding Oil Prices: A Guide to What Drives the Price of Oil in Today's Markets Hardcover – December 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A very complete analysis of the crude oil market, the final product markets and the refining industry – I highly recommend this book.
Frédéric Lantz, Program Supervisor and Master in Environmental Economics, Sustainable Development and Energy, IFP-School

“Salvatore Carollo makes a hard issue seem easy. Balanced, comprehensive and clear, this book will enlighten anyone interested in oil prices. It is a must read!”
Giovani Machado – DSc. in Energy Planning, Advisor at Energy Research Company – EPE, Brazil

“In addition to historical and theoretical background, Carollo's book provides an excellent ground-level view of the way oil markets really work. He explains not only the impact of product regulations on markets, but shows the way in which the trade is carried out in financial markets, such as the Brent forward market.” 
Michael Lynch, President and Director of Global Petroleum Service, Strategic Energy & Economic Research Inc. (SEER)

“It is very hard to accurately anticipate the fluctuations of oil prices. Yet, understanding what drives these fluctuations is possible and this book offers a rigorous and intelligent synthesis of what we know about the forces and institutions that shape energy markets and, thus, oil prices. Salvatore Carollo has written an invaluable reference for professionals interested in the formation of oil prices.”
Moisés Naím, PhD, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

About the Author

SALVATORE CAROLLO graduated in engineering from the University of Palermo, where he also served as a lecturer and researcher. In 1975 he began working at eni; both in Italy and abroad where he was active in various sectors of the petroleum downstream, refining, market research, supply and trading of crude oil. Since 1995 he has been based first in Amsterdam and then in London as the manager of the Upstream Marketing Department, where he is responsible for the commercial relations with several producing countries and eni partners in various joint ventures. Within this area he provides support to eni corporate university, through teaching activities at the Mater MEDEA and organising the annual Oil Market and Commercialization of Crude Oil seminar. He is often called in as an expert by various institutions in the oil sector to provide his own analysis on the dynamics of oil prices.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119962722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119962724
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rvarghese on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some interesting nuggets in this book, and the author clearly has a great deal of experience in the industry. That said, there are two main weaknesses. The first is the logical incoherence: the first section of the book aims to convince you that prices are driven by speculation, and the second tries to argue that fundamental changes in the refining industry are changing prices. It's hard to figure out which effect is supposed to dominate. The second weakness in the book was the sometimes stilted writing. It seemed like this could be the result of translation from Italian. All in all, worth a skim, but not the best I've read on the subject.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kabocza on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book is a comprehensive view about oil industry, with specific focus on refining and price formation of oil and oil products. However the author neglected the recent trends in the industry that the today's prices do not always reflect the today's physical balance but much more the perceived trend of the market in the next quarters or even years. On the other hand, the data used are not always correct, some of them about oil trading diminish the role of the trading and highlight only the role of speculators. If you are really interested in understanding the oil prices, this book can offer you just a small piece of the cake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WheresWaldo on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The content of the book is excellent. Gives thorough and quite complete coverage of all the factors affecting oil prices, and heavily drives home the point that OPEC and supply/demand have nothing to do with oil prices anymore. It also provides basic understanding of crack spreads, and dives deep enough into refining and gasoline quality to provide an overall understanding of the process.
My only complaint is on the author's writing style. Although this viewpoint is correct, the author fails to be very concise in his attempts to make these points. All the content is there, just the wording is poor.
I'd still recommend the book, but I would also recommend the author re-write the exact same content with more concisely structured arguments.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PL on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The author really knows its subject and brings very interesting explanations about the mechanisms of the international oil markets. Telling the story that leads to the actual oil market and explaining price correlation discrepancies between supply and demand of oil prices. Also explaining the prices of the refined products.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sphynxx on September 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a practitioner in the industry, I found this book a fantastic reflection that challenged my initial assumptions. Undeniably worth reading, although I would recommend it to people who already know a lot about oil, refining and product markets.
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