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Making a Global Gas Market: Territoriality and Production Networks in Liquefied Natural Gas

Bridge, G; Bradshaw, M.

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M. Bradshaw


Energy markets are an important contemporary site of economic globalization. In this article we use a global production network (GPN) approach to examine the evolutionary dynamics of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector and its role in an emerging global market for natural gas. We extend recent work in the relational economic geography literature on the organizational practices by which production networks are assembled and sustained over time and space; and we address a significantly underdeveloped aspect of GPN research by demonstrating the implications of these practices for the territoriality of GPNs. The article introduces LNG as a techno-material reconfiguration of natural gas that enables it to be moved and sold beyond the continental limits of pipelines. We briefly outline the evolving scale and geographic scope of LNG trade, and introduce the network of firms, extraeconomic actors, and intermediaries through which LNG production, distribution, and marketing are coordinated. Our analysis shows how LNG is evolving from a relatively simple floating pipeline model of point-to-point, binational flows orchestrated by producing and consuming companies and governed by long-term contracts, to a more geographic and organizationally complex production network that is constitutive of an emergent global gas market. Empirically the article provides the first systematic analysis within economic geography of the globalization of the LNG sector and its influence on global gas markets, demonstrating the potential of GPN (and related frameworks) to contribute meaningful analysis of the contemporary political economy of energy. Conceptually the article pushes research on GPN to realize more fully its potential as an analysis of network territoriality by examining how the spatial configuration of GPNs emerges from the organizational structures and coordinating strategies of firms, extraeconomic actors and intermediaries; and by recognizing how network territoriality is constitutive of markets rather than merely responsive to them.


Bridge, G., & Bradshaw, M. (2017). Making a Global Gas Market: Territoriality and Production Networks in Liquefied Natural Gas. Economic Geography, 93(3), 215-240.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 22, 2017
Publication Date May 27, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2017
Journal Economic Geography
Print ISSN 0013-0095
Electronic ISSN 1944-8287
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 93
Issue 3
Pages 215-240
Related Public URLs


Accepted Journal Article (1.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, on behalf of Clark University This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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