Europe’s first winter cold spell already straining natural gas supplies

For the last 20 years, we were told that Europe must transform from a plethora of gas markets that are dominated by national utilities with monopolies into free-market players that trade. Gas hubs were established, gas was traded, a spot market came into existence and the legacy long-term supply contracts came to be seen as a burden in time. It took some time but eventually, most players went for spot and short term and ditched security of supply. But the free market has two faces – we chose to ignore the other side of the coin. Now we pay for that.

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