Multi-Period Natural Gas Market Modeling - Applications, Stochastic Extensions and Solution Approaches
Egging, Rudolf Gerardus
Gabriel, Steven A
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This dissertation develops deterministic and stochastic multi-period mixed complementarity problems (MCP) for the global natural gas market, as well as solution approaches for large-scale stochastic MCP. The deterministic model is unique in the combination of the level of detail of the actors in the natural gas markets and the transport options, the detailed regional and global coverage, the multi-period approach with endogenous capacity expansions for transportation and storage infrastructure, the seasonal variation in demand and the representation of market power according to Nash-Cournot theory. The model is applied to several scenarios for the natural gas market that cover the formation of a cartel by the members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a low availability of unconventional gas in the United States, and cost reductions in long-distance gas transportation. The results provide insights in how different regions are affected by various developments, in terms of production, consumption, traded volumes, prices and profits of market participants. The stochastic MCP is developed and applied to a global natural gas market problem with four scenarios for a time horizon until 2050 with nineteen regions and containing 78,768 variables. The scenarios vary in the possibility of a gas market cartel formation and varying depletion rates of gas reserves in the major gas importing regions. Outcomes for hedging decisions of market participants show some significant shifts in the timing and location of infrastructure investments, thereby affecting local market situations. A first application of Benders decomposition (BD) is presented to solve a large-scale stochastic MCP for the global gas market with many hundreds of first-stage capacity expansion variables and market players exerting various levels of market power. The largest problem solved successfully using BD contained 47,373 variables of which 763 first-stage variables, however using BD did not result in shorter solution times relative to solving the extensive-forms. Larger problems, up to 117,481 variables, were solved in extensive-form, but not when applying BD due to numerical issues. It is discussed how BD could significantly reduce the solution time of large-scale stochastic models, but various challenges remain and more research is needed to assess the potential of Benders decomposition for solving large-scale stochastic MCP.