Abstract

In 2005 a series of statistical calculations were presented for Canadian hydrocarbon prices [1]. There were two main conclusions: long-term historical data indicates that hydrocarbon prices tend to revert back to historical averages, short-term price fluctuations are unpredictable. It is more clear than ever that short-term prices are unpredictable, but this paper will attempt to demonstrate once more that mean reversion should be included in any long-term model.

This paper demonstrates that any discussion of oil and gas prices in Canada must consider inflation. Several different means of adjusting for inflation are presented but all show that Canadian hydrocarbon prices are strongly variable, but mean reverting. This paper also argues that, while convenient, discussing the price of a commodity in terms of only one currency ignores changes in the relative value between currencies and basis differentials. These factors can have significant economic impact.

This paper updates the previous price fluctuation model for prices up to the end of 2012. As before, the model incorporates a random walk with mean reversion that was developed and tuned to fit Canadian hydrocarbon prices. Starting with the current spot price, the model will generate a random but equiprobable prediction of future prices. The model can be used as input into a Monte-Carlo simulation. Alternately, the model can be run multiple times in order to generate "high", "low", and "expected" price predictions.

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