Handbook on Energy and Climate Change
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Handbook on Energy and Climate Change

Edited by Roger Fouquet

This timely Handbook reviews many key issues in the economics of energy and climate change, raising new questions and offering solutions that might help to minimize the threat of energy-induced climate change.
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Chapter 2: Gas markets: past, present and future

Paul Stevens


The history of gas markets is both controversial and complex. This arises in large part because of the characteristics of natural gas as a source of primary energy. These characteristics differentiate gas from other hydrocarbon energies, in particular oil. The appendix outlines these characteristics and the consequent differences. This chapter attempts to lay out that history and consider the future role of gas in the future global primary energy mix. Section 2 provides a short history of gas markets. While specifics of the history of regional gas markets are explored in Section 2.2, certain generalities are considered in Section 2.1. Section 3 then considers how gas markets have generated conflict over the contractual terms by which gas is bought, sold and transported. Section 4 looks to the future, which is dominated by the possibilities for the development of shale gas. Section 5 draws some conclusions on the future of gas markets.

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