The European Natural Gas Sector Between Regulation and Competition

  • One of the major goals of European energy policy is the establishment of a single and competitive internal gas market by 2014. This PhD thesis explores in four related articles whether the efforts of restructuring the European natural gas sector have been successful in creating a regulatory framework that is well-suited to provide for a level-playing field for market players leading to competitive market outcomes. Access conditions to infrastructure facilities (pipelines and storage) are of special interest. The first paper evaluates a specific regulatory measure, i.e. ownership unbundling of transmission system operators as the strongest form of vertical separation. Applying dynamic estimators on an unbalanced panel of 18 EU countries, it turns out that the more modest legal unbundling reduces natural gas end-user prices, whereas ownership unbundling shows no impact. Looking at natural gas wholesale prices it is assessed if markets are able to generate efficient price signals. The second article tests for the spatial no arbitrage condition. Based on price developments at two German hubs and the nearby Dutch market, cointegration analysis and a state space model with time-varying coefficients are used. Though market efficiency in terms of information processing has increased, price differentials are only partly explained by transportation costs pointing at capacity constraints. In the third paper, the relationship between natural gas storage utilisation and price patterns at three major European trading points is investigated (test of the intertemporal no arbitrage condition). The results reveal that market performance differs substantially from the competitive benchmark. The last article puts the empirical results of the previous papers into a broader policy context and deduces policy recommendations.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Marcus Stronzik
Referee:Gert Brunekreeft, Colin Vance, Tooraj Jamasb
Advisor:Gert Brunekreeft
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:101:1-201305294562
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2012/07/02
Date of First Publication:2012/07/18
PhD Degree:Economics
School:SHSS School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Other Countries Involved:United Kingdom
Library of Congress Classification:H Social Sciences / HD Industries. Land use. Labor [incl. Management] / HD2321-4730.9 Industry / HD3611-4730.9 Industrial policy. The state and industrial organization
Call No:Thesis 2012/17

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