Inderscience Publishers

The impact of liberalisation on the corporate structure of the natural gas industry in North America: its relevance to possible futures for European natural gas

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Drawing on extensive empirical research over the last decade, this paper analyses the changes in the corporate structure of the North American natural gas industry which have been stimulated by liberalisation, and considers whether they are likely to be imitated in the context of the increasing pace of European liberalisation as the European Natural Gas Directive comes into force. It finds that the European context differs in very significant respects from that of North America such that, whereas horizontal integration to re-establish market power has been a significant response to liberalisation in North America, incumbents in Europe will still be able to benefit from market power derived from vertical integration for some time to come.

Keywords: natural gas, corporate structure in the natural gas industry, US natural gas, European natural gas, liberalisation in natural gas, deregulation of natural gas, natural gas markets, horizontal integration, vertical integration, European Gas Directive

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