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Gazprom’s triumph

Liberalised energy markets have brought Europe to the edge of a gas supply crisis

By Derek Brower   August 2006

In June I listened to Andreis Piebalgs, the EU’s energy commissioner, tell a gathering of gas industry executives from around the world—including ministers of energy from Russia, Qatar and all the other largest suppliers—that “the client is king,” and that “the buyer is more important than the seller.” Most in the room were too polite to laugh. But if the events of the past year—including Russia’s “gas war” with Ukraine—reveal anything, it is that the European client state is very much not “king.” In the gas sector, Europe is more like a parched man begging at the gates of the…

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