International Handbook of Network Industries
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International Handbook of Network Industries

The Liberalization of Infrastructure

Edited by Matthias Finger and Rolf W. Künneke

This extensive, state-of-the-art Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the various experiences of liberalization across different sectors, regions and disciplines.
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Chapter 11: Trends in Gas

Maarten J. Arentsen


Maarten J. Arentsen INTRODUCTION ‘In the last decade, natural gas has grown to become a truly global energy source.’ This quote from the 2006 gas market review of the International Energy Agency (IEA) clearly indicates the significance of natural gas in today’s global energy supply. In all parts of the world natural gas has become a much wanted energy resource. It has the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio of all fossils and the carbon dioxide emissions from its conversion are lower than oil and coal (IPCC, 2007). It can easily be transported by pipelines, tankers or trucks and there is little need for additional treatment before application and consumption (Hawdon, 2003). No wonder the demand for natural gas is increasing in a world facing climate change and lacking cost-effective, non-fossil, alternative energy resources. Increasing demand for natural gas combined with greater flexibility in longdistance transport will allow the gas market to become global (Correljé and van der Linde, 2006; Stern, 2006). Regulatory reform preceded the worldwide increase in gas demand; it was undertaken on all continents, but it took different routes. In many parts of the world the reforms have strengthened liberalization, deregulation and privatization, especially in the wholesale and retail segments of the market. The different liberalization models all reflect the idea of strengthening competition and market based transactions, the introduction of commercial incentives, and free consumer choice of gas supplier. Countries and continents made their own regulatory choices, quite often with reference to the US gas market, which...

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