Long-term contracts vital in EU free gas market

Long-term supply contracts will play a more important role in the new European Union free gas market than originally planned, contends London-based analyst Prospex Research Ltd. in a recently released report. It has long been held that such contracts would stifle competition in the EU's free gas market—scheduled for full opening to nonhousehold gas consumers by July of this year and for complete market opening by July 2007.However, gas supply security has become a growing concern because of Europe's increasing reliance on imported gas. Half of Europe's consumption will be imported by 2020, Prospex said, and long-term contracts are now being viewed as "an essential part o...

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