The paper analyses the status and importance of natural gas for the overall development of the world economy with application to the EU. It acknowledges that rapid depletion of all other energy sources represents a significant alternative, the disposable reserves of which might considerably contribute to satisfaction of energy needs in the EU. The authors examine major features determining economic utility of gas: structure and volume of extraction and consumption, specificities of its sales and pricing policy. They emphasize idiosyncrasies in crude oil trading as well as its ever stronger position in energy and heat production while regarding coordination of energy policy and strengthening the negotiating potential vis-a-vis major natural gas suppliers as the most effective way of satisfying the Union's energy needs.
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