Europe's increasing import dependency in natural gas facilitates a number of new infrastructure projects. However, up to now it has always been diffcult to assess the full impact of these projects as interdependencies within the whole European gas infrastructure system were hard to predict. We present a model that allows such forecasts and therefore an integrated analysis of new pipeline, storage or LNG terminal investments with a high resolution of time and space. To demonstrate the model's capabilities, we examine the effects of the Russian-German Nord Stream (Baltic Sea) import pipeline with respect to its impact on Europe's infrastructure system, especially volume flows within the grid and the utilization of import pipelines with the respective effect on Europe's gas supply mix. We analyse a scenario where Russian exports are allowed to increase alongside the capacity increase and one where they are not. It is shown that although bottlenecks within the European transmission grid are not yet a problem, transit capacity in Central Europe will soon be an issue. In both scenarios, Nord Stream exhibits a cannibalization effect on the traditional Russian export routes -at least in the short run. The increased arrival of Russian gas in Northern Germany however will have a sustained impact on the roles of the other import pipelines, investments in alternative import infrastructure and gas flows in Western Europe in general.
Natural gas European gas market gas infrastructure modeling