Third Party Access to LNG terminals

10 November 2006
Dr. Fabrizio Hernández, et al.

LNG is playing an increasingly important role for the European internal market in natural gas. There are potential benefits that could be gained from the realization of new LNG terminals. Benefits would stem from the contribution of LNG toward enhancement of competition and security of supply by being an instrument for diversification of supply sources.

In this report for the European Regulators for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG), a NERA team assesses the ERGEG Gas Focus Group Work Programme for 2006, which considers the opportunity to develop guidelines for regulated access to LNG terminals.

NERA was commissioned to:

  • Review existing regimes for access to LNG terminals in Europe, focusing on transparency, regulatory arrangements, and operational rules and assessing the current situation with respect to a set of criteria on promotion of competition, security of supply, and non-discrimination.
  • Draw up a series of recommendations to help make progress toward a more coherent and unique set of principles for third party access to LNG terminals in Europe.
  • Examine aspects of the program needing harmonization at a European level.


The report assesses to which extent existing access rules to LNG terminals are working or could be improved, and if there is a need of harmonization for both regulatory practice and operational rules. It provides recommendations aimed at improving the regulatory and operational conditions for access to LNG terminals in Europe. These recommendations are designed to ensure that LNG fulfils its role as a competitive source of supplies in Europe and allows effective third party access to LNG terminals in order to contribute to an increasingly competitive and secure gas market.