Market Structure in the New Gas Economy: Is Cartelization Possible?

Working Papers
Gas OPEC final

As gas becomes a more important input to industrialized economies and the volume of gas traded in international markets increase, large consuming countries will begin to focus increasingly on the security and availability of their gas supplies. In addition, given the apparent similarities between the development of oil and gas markets, the question arises as to whether the structure of the gas market will evolve towards that prevailing in the market for crude oil. Concern for maintaining a secure supply of reasonably priced natural gas, which up to now has taken a back seat to its sister fuel, will increasingly be viewed as a vital national interest. This change is bound to influence the "geopolitics of natural gas". This paper investigates key variables that might influence this geopolitics and postulate consumer countries response to the new reality of a gas-fed world.

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