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Industry News

German Natural Gas Market Talks Fall Apart

LCG, April 10, 2003Today German gas consumers and pipeline companies could not come to agreement over Germanys gas supply network and broke off talks, according to consumer group VIK.

Germany does not have a state regulator for electricity and gas and relies on industry players to agree upon rules regarding competitive use of gas pipelines and electricity transmission.

Consumer associations German Industry Association and the Association of Industrial Energy Users met with the gas industry associations to make a new agreement regarding gas distribution, which would be applied by October of this year. The current legal sector agreement expires at the end of this September.

Those who transport natural gas have asked that pipeline usage fees reflect the distance gas travels in the pipeline and be applied per sale. Gas purchasers would like a single transport fee for all of Germany.

Some companies interested in buying natural gas say that negotiating transport over the countrys hundreds of pipelines takes so much money and time that the current system prevents anyone new from entering the market.

Meanwhile, Germany has decided to bring in some level of regulation by the summer of 2004 in keeping with European Union standards, but much has yet to be determined regarding the level of authority and the location of a new regulatory body. According to government officials, the failed talks have provided further evidence of the countrys need for oversight.

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