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Market power across the Channel: Are Continental European gas markets isolated ?

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Abstract

This paper examines the efficiency of the arbitrages performed between two regional markets for wholesale natural gas linked by a capacity-constrained pipeline system. We develop a switching regime specification to (i) detect if the observed spatial arbitrages satisfy the integration notion that all arbitrage opportunities between the two markets are being exploited, and (ii) decompose the observed spatial price differences into factors such as transportation costs, transportation bottlenecks, and the oligopolistic behavior of the arbitrageurs. Our framework incorporates a test for the presence of market power and it is thus able to distinguish between the physical and behavioral constraints to marginal cost pricing. We use the case of the “Interconnector” pipeline as an application, linking Belgium and the UK. Our empirical findings show that all the arbitrage opportunities between the two zones are being exploited but confirm the presence of market power.
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Dates and versions

hal-02475017 , version 1 (17-02-2020)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-02475017 , version 1

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Olivier Massol, Albert Banal-Estañol. Market power across the Channel: Are Continental European gas markets isolated ?: Cahiers de l'Economie, Série Recherche, n° 97. 2014. ⟨hal-02475017⟩
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