Title

Structure and Behavior of the Petroleum Industry: The North Dakota Experience, 1965-1975

Date of Award

5-1-1975

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Economics & Finance

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of the energy crisis on the petroleum industry in North Dakota. Because of the complex structure of the industry, particular attention was focused on the unbranded dealers who sell gasoline in the state.

A questionnaire, which was mailed to members of the North Dakota Retail Gasoline Dealers' Association, was designed to elicit responses as to the severity of the energy crisis. The questionnaire was followed up by numerous personal interviews and telephone calls directed mainly at those dealers who are no longer in business. Finally, research was conducted to determine the marketing strength of branded and unbranded dealers in the state.

It was discovered that since 1965 tne small unbranded dealers in the state have gradually lost their market share of gasoline, and that this weakening market position was accelerated during the energy crisis when a substantial number of small unbranded dealers were forced out of business. Although the large unbranded dealers have experienced financial difficulties because of their limited access to the cheaper, domestic crude oil, they have remained in the market place and have managed to maintain their market share of gasoline, primarily because of the federal allocations program.

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