A Stochastic Equilibrium Model for the North American Natural Gas Market

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This dissertation is an endeavor in the field of energy modeling for the North

American natural gas market using a mixed complementarity formulation combined with the stochastic programming.

The genesis of the stochastic equilibrium model presented in this dissertation is the deterministic market equilibrium model developed in [Gabriel, Kiet and Zhuang, 2005]. Based on some improvements that we made to this model including proving new existence and uniqueness results, we present a multistage stochastic equilibrium model with uncertain demand for the deregulated North American natural gas market using the recourse method of the stochastic programming. The market participants considered by the model are pipeline operators, producers, storage operators, peak gas operators, marketers and consumers. Pipeline operators are described with regulated tariffs but also involve "congestion pricing" as a mechanism to allocate scarce pipeline capacity. Marketers are modeled as Nash-Cournot players in sales to the residential and commercial sectors but price-takers in all other aspects. Consumers are represented by demand functions in the marketers' problem. Producers, storage operators and peak gas operators are price-takers consistent with perfect competition. Also, two types of the natural gas markets are included: the long-term and spot markets.

Market participants make both high-level planning decisions (first-stage decisions) in the long-term market and daily operational decisions (recourse decisions) in the spot market subject to their engineering, resource and political constraints as well as market constraints on both the demand and the supply side, so as to simultaneously maximize their expected profits given others' decisions. The model is shown to be an instance of a mixed complementarity problem (MiCP) under minor conditions. The MiCP formulation is derived from applying the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker optimality conditions of the optimization problems faced by the market participants. Some theoretical results regarding the market prices in both markets are shown.

We also illustrate the model on a representative, sample network of two production nodes, two consumption nodes with discretely distributed end-user demand and three seasons using four cases.