This is the second in a three-part series of webinars addressing gas price drivers and adjustment mechanisms in different regions of the world. The first webinar, on the topic “Gas price drivers and adjustment mechanisms in Asia”, took place on 9 June 2021 and a recording of this webinar is available here https://vimeo.com/561328789. The third webinar, to be announced shortly, will address gas price drivers and adjustment mechanisms in the Americas.
Energy markets in Europe, and gas markets in particular, have undergone a profound transformation in the last decade. Overall demand for energy – leaving aside the effects of the COVID crisis – has risen, but so has awareness of the need for carbon emission reductions. This has had a mixed effect on demand for gas. Some view gas-fired power as a clean transitional alternative to coal or oil. On the other hand, there has been pressure to replace gas-fired power by renewables and to develop cleaner methods of heat production in the domestic and industrial context.
On the supply side, piped gas continues to play a major role but LNG from numerous sources has assumed increasing commercial and geopolitical relevance. LNG suppliers around the world are intensely interested in the European energy market and for some exporting countries (notably the US), this commercial motive is buttressed by the geopolitical objective of reducing European dependence on traditional piped gas supplies from, notably, the Russian Federation.
These developments have made evaluating and predicting gas values – already a daunting challenge – an even more complex exercise. Long-term gas and LNG supply agreements frequently contain price reopener and review clauses intended to address unpredictable developments, but the applicability of these to specific situations is often controversial. The two speakers at this seminar addressed the main factors driving gas price movements in the European context, the contractual and other adjustment mechanisms available to respond to these and how these mechanisms are used in practice.
Andrej Pustisek has more than 30 years’ experience in the natural gas industry. Andrej currently advises international natural gas and energy companies, teaches energy economics at the University of Applied Science, Stuttgart and at the University of Karlsruhe and conducts international courses on natural gas, inter alia on transportation, storage, and commodity trading and pricing. In the 1990s, he worked for Wintershall AG and WINGAS, Kassel, Germany in various positions, including natural gas purchasing, supply logistics and portfolio optimization. With E.ON Ruhrgas from 2002, he was Senior/Executive Vice President International Natural Gas Sales and later for Portfolio Management. He has been involved as expert in various arbitration proceedings relating to natural gas delivery, transportation and storage contracts in Europe and is member of Monitoring Trustee Teams working for the EU – DG Competition. He is the author of several publications, including the textbook ‘Natural Gas – A Commercial Perspective’ published in 2017 together with M. Karasz.
Giacomo Luciani created and is responsible for the scientific content of the Master in International Energy at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po. He also teaches at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and in the Master of Science in International Trading at the University of Geneva. In 2010-13, he was Global Scholar at Princeton University. His MOOC “Politics and Economics of International Energy” is available on Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/learn/global-energy?). He was the Vice President for International Group Projects of Eni (1990-2000), and has consulted for major international energy companies and governments of oil exporting countries. His work has focused on the political economy of MENA and global energy issues. His latest co-edited book, “When Can Oil Economies Be Deemed Sustainable?” (Palgrave, 2020; available in open access at https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-15-5728-6 ), discusses the meaning and challenges of sustainability for the GCC economies. In 2021 the Handbook of International Energy Economics, which he co-edited with Manfred Hafner, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan.
The event was chaired by Mr Graham Coop, Partner at Volterra Fietta. Mr Coop is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and as a solicitor with higher rights of audience (Civil) in England and Wales, and his thirty-year legal career includes seven years as General Counsel to the Energy Charter Secretariat between 2004 and 2011. Mr Coop advises and represents companies, governments and international organisations on international dispute resolution and public international law, with a particular focus on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure and banking sectors. He has appeared as counsel, advocate and expert before a wide range of international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, ICSID, the PCA and the ICC. The cases in which he has been involved as counsel include numerous price review disputes and other price-related disputes in the energy sector. He has also advised and represented parties to long-term energy sale agreements wishing to negotiate price adjustments in the absence of contractual price review clauses. He is on the UK Attorney General’s list of public international law practitioners.
For any queries regarding the content of the webinar, please email Graham.Coop@volterrafietta.com.