Long-term vs. Short-term Contracts; A European perspective on natural gas
This paper analyses the economics of long-term gas contracts under changing institutional conditions, mainly gas sector liberalisation. The paper is motivated by the increasingly tense debate in continental Europe, UK and the US on the security of long-term gas supply. We discuss the main issues regarding long-term contracts, i.e. the changing role of the flexibility clause, the effect of abandoning the destination clause, and the strategic behaviour of producers between long-term sales and spot-sales. The literature suggests consumers and producers benefit from risk hedging through long-term contracts. Furthermore long-term contracts may reduce exercise of market power. This was argued to benefit consumers at the ‘expense’ of producers’ profits. Our analysis shows if the long-run demand elasticity is significantly lower than the short-run elasticity, both strategic producers and consumers benefit from lower prices and larger market volume. Some policy implications of the findings are also discussed.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mohammed A. Al-Sahlawi, 1989. "The Demand for Natural Gas: A Survey of Price and Income Elasticities," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 77-90.
- Masten, Scott E, 1988. "Minimum Bill Contracts: Theory and Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 85-97, September.
- Ken Costello & Hillard G. Huntington & James F. Wilson, 2005. "After the Natural Gas Bubble: An Economic Evaluation of the Recent U.S. National Petroleum Council Study," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 89-110.
- Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
- Parsons, John E, 1989. " Estimating the Strategic Value of Long-term Forward Purchase Contracts Using Auction Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(4), pages 981-1010, September.
- Mulherin, J Harold, 1986. "Complexity in Long-term Contracts: An Analysis of Natural Gas Contractual Provisions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 105-17, Spring.
- Javier Estrada & Ole Fugleberg, 1989. "Price Elasticities of Natural Gas Demand in France and West Germany," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 77-90.
- Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-93, December.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0539. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jake Dyer)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.