The sources of uncertainty in natural gas closed loop supply chain

Document Type : Review Article


Master of Industrial Management, Department of Management & Accounting, Shahid-Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Recently, governmental legislations, limitation of natural resources and adverse effects of End-of-Life products on ecological system have spurred researchers to design closed-loop supply chains. Natural gas has been used globally as a transitional fuel for supporting a green-energy-supply strategy, which has been questioned for the intermittence and lack of reliability of renewables. Natural gas has a complex and large supply chain including fields, processing plants, transmission pipelines, and distribution centers, etc. This article develops a theoretical conceptualization of supply chain uncertainty, based on the foundation provided by contingency theory. However, a qualitative analysis of the uncertainties and their sources is missing. Therefore, in this paper the authors propose an empirical approach to the identification of uncertainty occurring in the closed‐loop supply chain of Natural Gas Supply Chain (uncertainty in supply, process, demand, control, and environmental uncertainty). The investigation methodology consists of a content analysis of press media documents related to natural gas industry. Consequently, the evidences of uncertainty found are classified in a spectrum between statistical uncertainty and total ignorance (levels of uncertainty). In order to remain competitive in the market, firms are forced to expand their product offerings and offer high levels of customization, bringing about high uncertainty in their supply chain.


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