Phil Verleger

Phil Verleger

Formal First Name
Philip (Phil)

Dr. Philip Verleger is the Founder and President of PKVerleger, an economic consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado. He has studied and written about energy markets since 1971. During his distinguished career, Dr. Verleger has played an integral role in creating the oil futures markets. He is a well-known energy economist who has correctly anticipated most of the major structural changes occurring in the oil industry over the last 25 years. His investigations have influenced developments in oil markets.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • His earliest research was published in 1973. It addressed the determinants of gasoline demand. It is still cited today. 
  • While Director of the Office of Energy Policy at the U.S. Treasury, he was the key author of the economic study that supported the end of U.S. controls on crude prices in the Carter administration. 
  • He was one of the principal authors of the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax enacted by Congress in 1980.
  • His work includes two important academic studies on petroleum markets: Adjusting to Volatile Oil Prices (1994) and Oil Markets in TurmOil (1982).
  • In April 1999, he correctly predicted that the Saudi strategy would take crude oil prices to the mid to high 20s.
  • In August 2004, he warned that U.S. environmental regulations would cause crude oil prices to rise to $60 per barrel by limiting the availability of key petroleum products. He also wrote that the squeeze on product supply, combined with the absence of central bank concern, could take crude prices to $100. Both events took place.
  • More recently, he was one of the first to examine and again correctly predict the impact of outside investment in commodities.
  • His most recent research has shown that the crude oil price collapse that began in 2014 shares many characteristics with the subprime housing debacle that precipitated Lehman Brothers’ failure and the Great Recession of 2009. This new research suggests the oil price decline will have very long-lasting and negative implications for much of the energy sector, even if prices rebound periodically.

  • Senior Advisor to The Brattle Group
  • Member of the National Petroleum Council 
  • Member of the Council of Foreign Relations

  • Since 1971, Dr. Verleger has published two books and over 100 articles and papers on the evolution of energy markets. Many of these have influenced the thinking about and development of these markets, especially his papers on how energy went from being a monopolized good to a real commodity and the transformation’s consequences.
  • He has testified frequently as an expert witness for parties in private disputes and as an independent authority to the U.S. Congress.
  • His testimony before Congress has addressed regulation, taxation, the behavior of markets, and most recently, mergers.
  • He has chronicled the evolution of energy markets as the Publisher of The Petroleum Economics Monthly. 
  • He has appeared as a guest on MacroVoices.