Store International Vertical Natural Gas Transportation Capacity, Upstream Commodity Contracts and EU Competition Law

Vertical Natural Gas Transportation Capacity, Upstream Commodity Contracts and EU Competition Law

By Kim Talus


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Because the EU depends on a very small number of external suppliers for its natural gas, energy security issues inevitably arise. In theory, competition law should regulate and adjudicate such issues. Yet, because contracts between EU companies and producers are highly sensitive and politically charged, the application of EU competition law to natural gas contracts is far from clear.

This important book, drawing on ECJ case law, Commission administrative cases and inquiries, and the full range of relevant legal and economic theory, provides an extremely valuable and detailed study of how EU competition law can be applied to long-term natural gas capacity reservation and commodity contracts. Issues and topics such as the following arise in the course of the analysis:

  • Third Gas Market Directive provisions;
  • Article 102 TFEU cases on strategic under-investment;
  • pre-liberation or “legacy” gas contracts (e.g., with Algeria and Russia);
  • “right of first refusal”;
  • take-or-pay requirement;
  • third-party access;
  • ownership unbundling;
  • effect of elimination of priority access regimes;
  • short-term trading;
  • spot markets; and
  • law and economics of vertical restraints.
Focusing on the foreclosing effect of long-term upstream commodity contracts, the author recommends restrictions on the use of capacity reservation contracts, and analyses the efficacy of security of supply as a competition law defence in cases relating to such contracts. In addition to its substantial value to academics and policymakers as a significant contribution to competition law theory and practice, this book will also be widely welcomed by all concerned with European energy security or the changes in the traditional contractual structures underpinning EU natural gas trade. With a foreword by Jonathan Sterns.

Pages 344
Publish Date 05/26/2011
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041134073
SKU 9041134077
Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements



Chapter 1 EU Natural Gas Markets and Long-Term Contracting: An Overview of Economic and Political Aspects

Chapter 2 Security of Supply in the European Union

Chapter 3 Key EU Gas Market Regulation Relating to Long-Term Contracting

Chapter 4 The Application of EU Competition Law in Natural Gas Markets: Background and Developments

Chapter 5 Compatibility of Vertical Natural Gas Transportation Capacity, Commodity Contracts and EU Competition Law

Chapter 6 Security of Supply as Objective Justification