European gas grid through the eye of the TIGER: investigating bottlenecks in pipeline flows by modelling history
This paper brings together findings from previous OIES research on European gas hub price correlation by Beatrice Petrovich with demonstrated capability in European gas transmission system modelling by Harald Heckling and Florian Weiser at EWI Energy Research and Scenarios at the EWI Institute in Cologne.
The paper compares the evidence for periodic bottlenecks in Europe’s gas transmission systems, indicated by price correlation de-linkage – and supporting evidence of apparent physical or contractual flow constraints – with the results obtained by ‘re-running history’ using the EWI TIGER model. The modelled view of history presumes ‘perfect market’ behaviour in respect of agents making the best use of infrastructure (‘lowest cost’ objective function) to move gas from A to B given data on tariff costs.
A ‘tidy’ confirmation that modelled and actual flows were broadly in line would have been welcomed by those regulatory bodies tasked with achieving the Gas Target Model. The findings of this paper suggest that much more work is necessary to ensure that: critical route capacities are increased, capacities each side of specific interconnector points are better harmonised and that capacity held under long term contracts is made available on a shorter time horizon. The forensic investigation contained in this paper is to be highly commended and is an excellent starting point for regulatory bodies.