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37

Europe?s gas bill can be cut by 1.4bn claim experts.

Europe?s collective gas bill could fall by ё1.4 billion a year- eight per cent - by 2005 if all the countries? gas markets were fully competitive, according to a report from leading UK-based analysts Energy Markets.

Europe?s collective gas bill could fall by ё1.4 billion a year- eight per cent - by 2005 if all the countries? gas markets were fully competitive, according to a report from leading UK-based analysts Energy Markets.
Energy Markets chief, Mike Fulwood, said: ?If European markets were liberalized rapidly, gas-on-gas competition would start to replace (long-term supply) contracts, with the result wholesale prices would fall all over Europe?. He added savings would rise to ё2.5bn a year by 2010.
Gas prices in European long-term supply contracts are indexed to oil and calculations are based on an assumption of average crude prices of $20 a barrel.
Last year, the EU ordered the phased introduction of competition in the gas industry. Britain fully opened its gas sector to full competition in the late 1990s but other EU states like France have stuck to the legal minimum of a 20 per cent opening of their markets. The report also forecast a surge in gas imports to Europe in the next two decades from the Caspian region and the Middle East as demand grows and indigenous production dwindles.
The construction of the UK/Belgium interconnector means the European gas grid is linked from Russian wellheads in the east to the UK and Ireland in the west.
Europe produces 60 per cent of the gas it uses, mainly in Norway, the UK and Netherlands, leaving imports of around 200 billion cubic meters a year. The most important import source is Russia, which supplies almost 27 per cent of Europe?s gas, followed by Algeria, which provides about 12 per cent of consumption.
By 2020, Energy Markets estimates Europe?s domestic supply would meet only 34 per cent of its needs, with 31 per cent coming from Russia, 11 per cent from Algeria and 20 per cent from the Former Soviet Union excluding Russia, and the Middle East.
Neftegaz.ru