Security of Supply for Natural Gas Markets – What is it and what is it not?

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This paper challenges the widely held view that a higher degree of dependence on natural gas imports from third countries weakens the EU’s security of supply situation.


The issue of security of gas supplies is frequently discussed on the basis of intuitive and nonsystematic arguments. Greater import dependence is normally equated with greater insecurity, and strategic stocks are the risk management tool most commonly considered. This paper strives to offer a systematic framework of analysis and shows that import dependence does not necessarily entail greater insecurity – actually, the opposite may well be the case. It also discusses several alternatives to strategic stocks for risk management, which are more interesting and promising.

Giacomo Luciani is with the Mediterranean Programme at the Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute.

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