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Profile: Thomas Ferguson


Positions that Thomas Ferguson has held:

  • Professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston




Quote, October 16, 2002

   “It is now an accepted notion that lifting the current sanctions on Iraqi oil exports will put downward pressure on oil prices in the medium term. More important, however, Russian and most non-OPEC oil is relatively expensive to produce—$15 a barrel or more. By contrast, Iraqi production costs, once damage from the war is repaired, should be highly competitive with Saudi oil at $5 a barrel or less. This makes Iraq pivotal for stabilizing oil prices in both directions. If prices rise too high, Iraq can simply pump more. Less obviously, however, if the Saudis decide, as they have twice done in recent years, to wage a ruinous price war, lowering prices sharply in order to deter other cartel members from overproducing, then Iraq's role is again [the] key. With another low-cost gas station open for business, the Saudis cannot count on maintaining total revenues as prices fall, because now they will have to split the take with the Iraqis. This downward price deterrence will be welcome news to marginal producers around the world, including those in Texas, and it is very important in assessing the long-run impact of the American move.” [Ferguson and Johnson, 10/16/02]

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