Tariffs for the utilisation of gas transmission pipelines are an essential factor determining the openness of international gas markets. The availability of interconnections and economically acceptable transportation costs are a condition for natural gas reaching consumer markets. With the dependence of major consuming countries on imported natural gas increasing - with the exception of countries that can rely on significant own reserves of unconventional gas - international trade in natural gas is expected to grow over the next decades. Common principles are necessary to enable such trade and to facilitate transit. Basic principles for transmission tariffs and some other aspects related to the utilisation of energy transport facilities have been elaborated in the Energy Charter.
This study analyses methodologies and tariff principles for natural gas transmission used in member countries of the Energy Charter Treaty, paying particular attention to developments in Europe, the Black Sea region and Central Asia. Common basic principles exist across this area, but concrete methodologies vary, as well as the choice of the market structure and the treatment of transit, in particular between the European Union on the one hand and some Eastern European and Central Asian countries on the other.
The study compares the following aspects of regulatory regimes:
- the role of the regulator, third-party access and unbundling;
- the treatment of gas transit;
- methodologies to calculate capital and operational costs;
- unit tariff methodologies.