Natural Gas Markets

ENE475 Natural Gas Markets

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    How is it possible that the EU is so dependent on Russian gas imports that Gazprom is able to drive up natural gas prices so much as happened in 2022? How long has the EU been so dependent on Russian imports? Why doesn’t Europe have more liquefied natural gas importing capacity? Why have gas prices become more volatile after 2022? Why can’t Norway supply more? Why is the natural gas price so important for electricity prices in continental Europe? Why is the climate footprint of some liquefied natural gas suppliers worse than for coal?

    This course gives students an introduction in natural gas markets. This concerns regional and global natural gas markets, supply, transportation, storage, and usage. We discuss market characteristics and economics, regulatory regimes, and various types of contracts. Additionally, we consider the current and future roles of natural gas in the energy system and other uses considering the need for decarbonization. Naturally, we discuss recent events in the natural gas markets as a part and consequence of the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the course, the students:


    • Are familiar with the main elements and aspects of regional and global natural gas markets.
    • Know the role of natural gas in the current energy supply mix and its potential role in the future one.
    • Know the advantages and disadvantages of applications of natural gas in different sectors.
    • Understand why natural gas is not as difficult a commodity as electricity but more difficult than oil and coal.


    • Can explain why gas market structure and high capital costs have favored long-term contracts in the past.
    • Can explain why natural gas is more or less useful in various economic sectors, including power generation.
    • Can explain why liquefied natural gas plays an increasingly important role in the global gas market.
    • Can discuss why there are different perspectives on the role of natural gas in a decarbonizing economy.

    General competence

    • Can apply economic reasoning and intuition in the context of energy markets.
    • Have developed their analytic skills.
    • Have developed their writing and reporting skills.

  • Teaching

    One week long intensive course with lectures and discussions. The professor wishes to engage students in in-class discussions, both in small groups and plenary, as well as via digital tools such as Socrative.

    It will NOT be possible to follow the course digitally.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Introduction to micro economics, basic calculus.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity

    Mandatory physical attendance. Attendance requirement (>=80%). Any absence to be communicated to the lecturer in advance of the start time of the specific lecture date and time. Warn the lecturer explicitly in advance of the course start about any foreseeable challenge in meeting this requirement that for special reasons should be accommodated by the lecturer.

    For each seminar day there will be a list of questions. You are expected to read the indicated material and prepare for these questions thoroughly. Classes may start with a short multiple-choice test to help students verify that what they got out of the preparation aligns with the professor’s aims. Participants must do the multiple-choice tests individually.

  • Assessment

    A written assignment, individually or in pairs. Students propose a topic relevant in the broader perspective of the course to the professor. The assignment concerns a qualitative analysis - possibly underpinned by some quantitative data. This paper will be about 2500 - 3000 words (about five to seven pages).

    Students with sufficient knowledge on operations research / mathematical programming (and see under Computer tools) may opt for doing a case study with a self-developed model on a stylized natural gas market situation.

    Students are expected to submit their deliverable by the end of week 4.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools

    Students opting for the case study (See under Assessment), need sufficient skills in appropriate software to implement mathematical programs. This may be, for instance, GAMS, XPRESS, Python, R, or MATLAB.

  • Literature

    The reading material consists mostly of book chapters, journal papers, and information and reports by various organizations available online. Details will be provided before the start of the course.

    Chapters and papers will be available in Leganto, a selection of relevant internet links will be provided at the start of the course.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered Spring 2024 (first week of the semester).

Course responsible

Adjunct Professor Ruud Egging-Bratseth, Department of Business and Management Science.