The Transformation of the European Gas Market
European gas markets have grown to a very large size, and further substantial expansion is envisaged for the coming decades. The paper explores the preconditions and modes for the future expansion of the gas market. It juxtaposes the 'policy driven' model for gas market growth versus the 'do-nothing' model, and concludes that the latter will predominate, supplemented by policy elements to assure supply security and the full environmental benefits of gas. Developments in the UK are unlikely to be a model for the rest of Europe. The gas market on the continent has already been transformed in some measure along the 'do-nothing' model path, with tendencies towards vertical integration, international corporate alliances and the emergence of new agents who accentuate the competitive pressures, and reduce the powers of former monopolies.
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