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The Long Road to First Oil

Mihalyi, David (2020): The Long Road to First Oil.

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The road from a petroleum discovery to production is long, especially in developing countries. On average they take 7 years with a standard deviation of 9 years and a quarter of the fields are yet to reach production. I analyze the drivers of petroleum project timelines using survival analysis and event study methods. Institutions are a key factor. Democracies and state owned firms operating domestically are significantly quicker. My findings suggest earlier research relying on lagged impacts of giant petroleum discoveries provided biased estimates of the effects of oil production shocks.

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