26 October 2007 | Andy Allen
Buyers fear price rises could follow the establishment of a gas cartel, a survey has found.
A survey by consultancy EnergyQuote, of more than 100 of Europe's largest energy buyers, uncovered concerns over the impact of Russian foreign policy on EU markets. Buyers considered this to be the fourth most important cause of likely increases.
Comparing the results of the latest survey with a previous survey six months ago, EnergyQuote said: "This was a concern that barely registered on the radar back in March. It possibly points to a growing alarm over the impact of reported moves earlier this year to establish a cartel involving Gazprom, Algeria's Sonatrach and other producers."
Geo-political tension, particularly the continuing conflict in the Middle East, was still cited as the major cause of possible price rises.
The survey found more than 60 per cent of buyers believed prices would continue to rise over the next two years, a slight rise on just over half that thought the same in April (Web news, 16 April).