Cedigaz Insights

A lot of hot air?

To what extent could gas lose ground in the heating market in Europe

Prepared for CEDIGAZ by Nick White and Ben Madden

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According to the latest CEDIGAZ report, the gas for heating market in Europe, for many years a stable and growing demand source, is on the cusp of significant change, which is likely to lead to major declines over the coming decades. Key uncertainties remain over the pace and extent of these declines, and gas utilities would be well advised to prepare for changes by involvement in district heating and other technologies which maintain gas as part of a lower carbon heating future.

Natural gas is the dominant fuel for heating residential and commercial properties in the EU, providing 47% of both input energy and useful heat in 2013. However, gas for heating faces major challenges in coming decades due to calls for greater energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the heating sector. Although, in the mid-term , expansion of CHPs and DHNs provide some opportunities for gas,  long-term forecasts show gas demand for heating declining over the period to 2050, but there are significant variations in the future levels from a business as usual scenario which sees gas demand at 165 bcm in 2050 (compared to 195 bcm in 2013) to a high energy efficiency scenario which at only 44 bcm. Read more

subsidy - blessing or curse?

An Assessment of Impact of Gas Price Subsidies on Gas Markets and Consumers

Prepared for CEDIGAZ by Nick White and Ben Madden

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Gas price subsidies have a significant effect on the gas consumption. Simply put they embody the inexorable link between the price of a good and its demand. By artificially lowering the price of gas, it can become more competitive as a fuel, potentially even crowding out other fuels or technologies, as well as encouraging excessive consumption that would not have occurred in the absence of subsidies. The extent to which either of these situations are the case is dependent on the subsidies of a given country with two particular factors; price/level of discount and how much of the population it is available to. The cheaper the gas the more widespread and heavy its use (or the use of a byproduct of gas such as electricity, heat or water) will be. Additionally if subsidies are extended to larger parts of the population then not only does that increase the amount of users whose consumption may be wasteful but it also extends cheaper gas to richer households who are typically higher consumption users and therefore capable of wasting more. It therefore follows that any countries wishing to reduce or cut their subsidies will likely see their gas demand fall.   Read more

U.S. Natural gas update and outlook

Prepared for CEDIGAZ by Michelle Michot Foss, PhD.

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The oil price decline has left American producers in a situation like that of 2009 following the collapse of the Henry Hub gas prices. At the time, shale gas production was growing fast but demand was depressed due to the effects of the subprime mortgage crisis. Producers reacted by redirecting their investments towards liquid-rich deposits (containing oil or natural gas liquids) and were thus able to benefit from the oil price recovery. This strategic reorientation did not penalize gas production, which continued to grow, thanks to the gases associated with oil production which, in recent years, have been responsible for almost all growth in gas production. Today, more than 50% of the shale gas produced in the United States comes from liquid-rich deposits. Consequently, any decrease in liquids production occurring in reaction to falling oil prices is bound to have major repercussions on domestic gas production.

U.S. Natural Gas Update and Outlook*,  analyzes the consequences of the oil price decline on the U.S. oil and gas sector as well as the implications for production and hydrocarbon prices. Read more

Russian Gas Market: Entering New Era

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Prepared for CEDIGAZ by Tatiana Mitrova and Gergely Molnar

After a period of extensive growth in the 2000s, the Russian gas industry is now facing numerous challenges. Mounting competition by independent producers and the development of new production by Gazprom, combined with stagnating domestic demand and weakening export markets, have created a situation of overproduction, made worse by western sanctions and low oil and gas prices. Expansion to the East thanks to the recent China deal is not expected to provide much relief before 2024. The coming decade will be critical for the industry and its outcome will largely depend on the government's pricing and institutional policies but the role of the state should remain essential.

The New CEDIGAZ report “Russian Gas Market: Entering New Era” by Tatiana Mitrova (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Gergely Molnar analyses the ongoing changes in the Russian industry and the challenges to be met. "Read more"

Japan's new energy policy: in search for stable and competitive energy supply (november 2014)

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Prepared for CEDIGAZ by Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe

Japan's energy policy is undergoing fundamental changes. The accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant questions the future contribution of nuclear power in the national energy mix. Growing imports of fossil fuels to replace the lost nuclear capacity inflated energy prices and raise economic and energy security challenges. At the same time, the US shale gas and oil revolution is reshaping the global energy scene. Japan expects to take advantage of the trend to eliminate the “Asian premium” on natural gas prices and expand cheaper natural gas consumption. These developments have driven the Government of Japan to review its energy policy from scratch and adopt a new Strategic Energy Plan. This new policy has far reaching implications for gas and coal development in Japan but also for the international markets as Japan is the world's largest LNG importer and the second largest coal importer.  "Read more"