Measuring the Effects of Natural Gas Pipeline Constraints on Regional Pricing and Market Integration
Roger Avalos, Timothy Fitzgerald, Randal R Rucker
Natural gas pipeline capacity sets physical limits on the quantity of gas that can be moved between regions, with attendant price effects. We find support for the hypothesis of integrated regional markets. Using data on daily pipeline flows and capacities in Florida and Southern California, we estimate reduced-form price effects of capacity constraints. We find that pipeline congestion increased realized citygate prices by at least 11 percent over the mean in Florida and by 6 percent over the mean in Southern California. We attribute the difference in price effects to more binding capacity constraints in the Florida pipeline network. Our estimates provide guidance for interstate pipeline investments.
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