Natural gas market indicators

From Statistics Explained

Data from March 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.


This article takes a look at the natural gas markets in the European Union (EU), presenting recent statistical data on the number and activities of companies that either bring natural gas into the country or by indigenous production (IMport and PROduction  = IMPRO) and retail companies across EU Member States, Serbia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

In 2012 the number of main natural gas IMPRO companies (with a market share of 5 % or more) decreased by 6 %. The total number of natural gas IMPRO companies in the European Union increased however compared to 2011 by 12 %.

Table 1: Number of entities bringing natural gas into the country, 2003-2012
Table 2: Number of main entities, 2012
Figure 1: Number of main entities bringing gas and their cumulative market share, 2012
Table 3: Market share of the largest production and import gas company, 2007-2012
Table 4: Number of retailers selling natural gas to final customers, 2003-2012
Table 5: Number of main natural gas retailers, 2003-2012
Figure 2: Number of main gas retailers and their cumulative market share, 2012
Table 6: Market share of the largest natural gas retailer, 2007-2012

Main statistical findings

During the period 2003-2010, the number of main companies with a market share above 5 %, that either produce natural gas by indigenous production or bring natural gas into the country (IMport and PROduction = IMPRO) increased from 53 to 75 companies, but decreased significantly in 2011 and 2012. The total number of natural gas IMPRO companies increased significantly (from 174 in 2003 to 364 companies in 2012), which means that a significant number of new (small size) companies entered the IMPRO natural gas market during this period. Information excludes however data from the Netherlands (no data available), Cyprus and Malta (no significant gas market). Individual data points for Belgium, Greece and Denmark that were missing were replaced by using the last available information in order to present consistent time series.

Natural gas market - import & production (IMPRO)

The information in Table 1 refers to the total number of companies that either produce natural gas by indigenous production or bring natural gas into the country by import (IMPRO companies). As in 2011, the total number of IMPRO companies remained limited to one single company in 2012 in four EU Member States (Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Finland). The use of natural gas in these countries can be considerate low to moderate. Between 2011 and 2012, the total number of IMPRO companies remained stable in 7 EU Member States but increases could be observed in 12 Member States, while the number of IMPRO companies went slightly down by 3 companies in Ireland (the Netherlands did not report this indicator).

Table 2 shows the number of main IMPRO companies that have a market coverage of at least 5 % of the total national indigenous production and import of natural gas. Eight EU Member States declared only one single enterprise to have a significant share in 2012. In the UK there are six IMPRO companies of considerable size. In the Czech Republic, the number of main IMPRO companies with a share of over 5 % decreased from 4 enterprises in 2011 to one in 2012. In Germany, a decrease from six to three main companies could be observed. During the period 2003-2012, the number of main IMPRO companies (> 5 %) fluctuated between 53 and 75 companies, In 2011 and in 2012, the number of main companies decreased significantly compared to the previous years.

Figure 1 displays the cumulated shares of main IMPRO companies in a given country having a share of at least 5 % of their respective national markets. Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands did not report this indicator. The lowest market coverage of IMPRO companies was reported by Hungary (65%), which means that about 35% of the total national Hungarian market is covered by relative small IMPRO companies. In Italy and in the United Kingdom, the market penetration of main companies is also relatively moderate at a level of around 75%.

Table 3 displays the market share of the largest IMPRO company in 2012 in percentage of national indigenous production and import. Apart from Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Latvia, where only one entity dominates the national production/import, figures equal or above above 90 % for the largest IMPRO company are observed in Poland (94.8 %)and Slovenia (90.0 %). The lowest market penetration of the largest IMPRO company on national level can be observed in Germany (30.1 %), followed by the United Kingdom (31.0 %).

Natural gas market - retail

EU Member States (plus FYROM and Turkey) also reported information for 2012 concerning the retailing (sales) sector for natural gas.

Table 4 presents information of the total number of retailing companies that sell natural gas to final customers. The most outstanding changes can be observed in Italy where the total number of retailers went up during 2012 from 308 to 462 retailers.

Table 5 shows the number of main retailers (retailers are considered as "main" if they sell at least 5 % of the total national natural gas consumption), the figures remain quite stable since 2004. 11 main retailers can be found in the Czech Republic, seven in Spain and in the United Kingdom. Markets where only one main retailer is dealing with the sales of natural gas are registered in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland. The most outstanding change between 2011 and 2012 that can be observed from table 5 is a more then doubling of the number of retailers in the Czech Republic (from 5 retailers in 2011 to 11 retailers in 2012).

Figure 2 illustrates the cumulative market shares of main natural gas retailers for all EU Member States (except Denmark, Austria and Sweden that did not reported this information), plus Turkey and FYR of Macedonia. If one looks to the remaining retail-market, which is the market that is covered by non-main retail companies that have a market coverage of less then 5 %, this market for "minor" retail companies is the largest in Germany (71.5 %). The market for "minor" retail companies is below 10 % in 7 out of 23 EU countries that reported this information.

Table 6 displays the market share of the largest natural gas retailer in 2012 in percentage of total national consumption. Apart from Latvia, where only one entity dominates the national sales market, figures above 90 % for the largest retail company can be found in Lithuania (98.1 %), Poland (90.7 %) and in Estonia (89 %). A relatively small market penetration for the largest retail company on national level can be observed in the Czech Republic (13.1 %), followed by Germany (14.5 %) and Hungary (19.2 %).

Data sources and availability

The information used to create this article was collected on the basis of a questionnaire "Competition Indicators for the natural gas market 2012".

All EU Member States (except Malta and Cyprus) plus the FYR of Macedonia and Turkey returned the questionnaires to Eurostat but sometimes information for individual indicators were not reported either for confidentiality reasons of simply because the data was not available.

The reporting was done on a voluntary basis.

Context

Since July 2004, small business consumers in the EU have been free to switch their gas or electricity supplier, and in July 2007 this option was extended to all consumers. Independent national regulatory authorities have been established across the Member States to ensure that suppliers and network companies operate correctly. However, a number of shortcomings were identified in the opening-up of markets, and it was therefore decided to embark upon a third legislative package of measures with the aim of ensuring that all users could take advantage of the benefits provided by a truly competitive energy market. The European Commission launched its third legislative package to liberalise energy markets in September 2007. These proposals were designed to: create a competitive energy market, expand consumer choice, promote fairer prices, result in cleaner energy, and promote the security of supply. During 2009, a number of these proposals were adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, in particular the Regulation 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an agency for the cooperation of energy regulators.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Main tables

Energy Statistics - quantities (t_nrg_quant)
Total production of primary energy (ten00076)
Primary production of natural gas (ten00079)
Net imports of natural gas (ten00085)
Gross inland energy consumption, by fuel (tsdcc320)
Final energy consumption of natural gas (ten00098)
Energy Statistics - prices (t_nrg_price)
Gas prices for industrial consumers (ten00112)
Gas prices for household consumers (ten00113)

Database

Main indicators - Energy Statistics (nrg_indic)
Energy Statistics - Euro-indicators in energy - monthly data (nrg_ind_34m)
Supply of natural gas - monthly data (nrg_ind_343m)
Energy Statistics - quantities (nrg_quant)
Energy Statistics - supply, transformation, consumption (nrg_10)
Supply, transformation, consumption - gas - annual data (nrg_103a)
Supply - gas - monthly data (nrg_103m)
Energy Statistics - infrastructure (nrg_11)
Infrastructure - gas - annual data (nrg_112a)
Energy statistics - imports (by country of origin) (nrg_12)
Imports (by country of origin) - gas - annual data (nrg_124a)
Imports (by country of origin) - gas - monthly data (nrg_124m)
Energy Statistics - exports (by country of destination) (nrg_13)
Exports (by country of destination) - gas - annual data (nrg_134a)
Exports (by country of destination) - gas - monthly data (nrg_134m)
Energy Statistics - prices (nrg_price)
Energy Statistics: gas and electricity prices - New methodology from 2007 onwards (nrg_pc)
Gas - domestic consumers - half-yearly prices - New methodology from 2007 onwards (nrg_pc_202)
Gas - industrial consumers - half-yearly prices - New methodology from 2007 onwards (nrg_pc_203)

Dedicated section

Source data for tables, figures and maps on this page (MS Excel)

Methodology / Metadata

Other information

  • Commission Communication COM final 0115/2009 of 11 March 2009 – Report on progress in creating the internal gas and electricity market
  • Directive 2003/55/EC of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 98/30/EC
  • Regulation 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Regulation 1775/2005 of 28 September 2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks

External links

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