The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We present a simple model of petroleum exploration and development that can be applied to study the performance of alternative tax systems and identify potential distortions. Although the model is a highly simplified, it incorporates many factors and some of the key tradeoffs that would influence an investor's investment behavior. The model recognizes the role of enhanced oil recovery and treats the impact of taxation on exploration and development in an integrated manner consistent with an investor's joint optimization of investments at both stages of the process. The model is simple and user-friendly, which facilitates application to a broad range of problems.