Natural gas is a fossil fuel composed of a mixture of hydrocarbons, naturally present in porous rocks, in gaseous form. The natural gas market in France is organised around six main areas: production, transport, LNG terminals, storage, distribution and marketing.
The French natural gas market, previously a state monopoly held by GDF, was liberalised at the end of the 1990s under the impetus of Europe. According to the French Ministry of Sustainable Development, natural gas represents 15% of France's national energy output (41 Mtoe out of a total of 274 Mtoe). For its natural gas needs, France depends almost 100% on imports from abroad. According to IFPEN data, most of the natural gas imported into France is extracted in Norway (38 to 39%). The Netherlands and Russia contribute equally to French gas needs (about 14% each). Algeria (8.4%) and to a lesser extent Nigeria also supply significant quantities of natural gas, transported by ship in liquefied form (LNG) and delivered to several LNG terminals on the French coast.
The natural gas market in France, once dominated by GDF Suez (now Engie) and its subsidiaries, is now open to competition, resulting in an increase in both the number of players and the intensity of competition.
The operators in the natural gas market are engaged in a process of commercial conquest, following the opening up of this market to competition.
The natural gas market is intrinsically dependent on 2 main factors: European regulation and raw material prices.
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