The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Building on recent work on the role of speculation and inventories in oil markets, we embed a competitive oil storage model within a DSGE model of the U.S. economy. This enables us to formally analyze the impact of a (speculative) storage demand shock and to assess how the effects of various demand and supply shocks change in the presence of oil storage facility. We find that business-cycle driven oil demand shocks are the most important drivers of U.S. oil price fluctuations during 1982-2007. Disregarding the storage facility in the model causes a considerable upward bias in the estimated role of oil supply shocks in driving oil price fluctuations. Our results also confirm that a change in the composition of shocks helps explain the resilience of the macroeconomic environment to the oil price surge after 2003. Finally, speculative storage is shown to have a mitigating or amplifying role depending on the nature of the shock.