A critique of the use of real option valuation to evaluate an oil industry refining project

Oosthuizen, J. F. (Jan Francois) (2005-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The oil industry is under pressure to select refinery projects that will provide higher and more predictable returns. In the past Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) techniques have been used to choose between refinery project alternatives. One of the problems with DCF techniques is that they ignore management flexibility when evaluating projects that contain embedded options. Real Option Valuation (ROV) is an approach that takes management flexibility into account and places a value on this flexibility. ROV has been used extensively by the oil industry for the evaluation of oil and gas reserves. The aim of this study is to determine the extent to which the use of ROV will improve the decision making process when evaluating a refining project containing embedded options as well as to determine the most appropriate option valuation method for refining projects. This was done by evaluating a refining project using both a probabilistic DCF approach and the various option pricing models and comparing the results. It was concluded that ROV will improve the decision making process when evaluating refining projects containing embedded options. The most appropriate option pricing method for refining projects was found to be the simulation approach since simulation is already being used by refineries to perform probabilistic DCF analysis. It is not recommended that ROV should be blindly applied to all refining projects containing embedded options. The use of ROV should be limited to larger refining projects for which probabilistic cash flows have been developed and the extent of the ROV analysis required should be determined by a careful review of the net present value (NPV) cumulative probability curves.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die olie industrie is onder druk geplaas om projekte te kies met 'n hoër opbrengs op kapitaal en 'n opbrengs wat meer voorspelbaar is. In die verlede is slegs die Verdiskonteerde Kontant Vloei (VKV) metode gebruik om projekte te selekteer vir die raffinadery. Een van die onderliggende tekortkominge met die gebruik van die VKV metode is dat verskillende bestuursopsies in terme van alternatiewe met ingeboude opsies, nie voldoende ondersoek word nie. Reële Opsie Waardasie (ROW) is 'n metode wat bestuursopsies in ag neem deur 'n waarde te plaas op elke beskikbare bestuursopsie. ROW het wye toepassings in die olie industrie vir die evaluasie van gas en olie reserves. Die doel van hierdie studie is om te bepaal tot watter mate die gebruik van ROW die besluitnemingsproses sal verbeter in terme van die evaluasie van projekte met ingeboude opsies vir raffinaderye en watter opsiewaardasie metode die mees geskikte is vir sulke projekte. 'n Raffinadery projek is evalueer deur beide KV en verskeie opsie-prysbepalingsmetodes te gebruik en die resultate is vergelyk. Die resultate van die studie het bewys dat die ROW metode die besluitnemingsproses verbeter. Die studie het gewys dat die mees geskikte opsie-waardasie metode vir projekte in the raffinadery die simulasie benadering is omdat simulasie alreeds vir probalisties VKV ontleding gebruik word. 'n Verdere aanbeveling is dat die ROW metode nie blindelings gevolg moet word vir alle projekte met ingeboude opsies nie. Die gebruik van ROW moet beperk word tot groter projekte waarvoor probabilistiese kontantvloei alreeds ontwikkel is. Die mate van ROW ontleding moet bepaal word deur 'n noukeurige ondersoek te doen van die kumulatiewe netto huidige waarde-waarskynlikheidskurwe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50245
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