Traditionally, an oil company wishing to develop UK gas reserves almost always faced a protracted gas sales negotiation with British Gas. British Gas then had an effective monopoly in the resale of that gas to final consumers. This traditional pattern is now in a process of fundamental change, as a result oi recent UK gas market re-regulation and the emergence of a new large scale opportunity to sell gas for power generation.
The impact of these changes is still not very well understood outside a relatively small group of gas specialists – but is likely to be significant for British Gas, consumers and UK gas producers. This paper outlines the background to the recent changes, the possible future of UK gas marketing and the likely impact on gas producers in the North Sea.