Journal of Energy Markets

Russian gas to western Europe: a game-theoretic analysis

Peter Zweifel, Boris Krey, Sandro Schirillo


Since the fall of the Soviet Union it has been necessary for Russia to form a coalition with at least one of the transit countries Belarus and Ukraine in order to be able to ship gas to western Europe. This paper models the gas transit game using a cooperative module to determine the bargaining power of the three countries. The bargaining power is dependent on the coalition that is achieved. In the non-cooperative module, the three countries involved decide whether or not to cooperate, with Russia using side payments to induce cooperation. On the basis of published demand and cost estimates, the predicted Nash equilibrium is the cooperative one resulting in the grand coalition. Predicted gas quantities correspond quite closely to actual 2004 and forecast 2010 and 2030 figures. The completion of the North Transgas pipeline will benefit Russia, to the detriment of the others, particularly Ukraine.

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