No one would call 11 years (1986-97) a foreseeable future. People do not buy utility shares to gamble with, but as a nest- egg for the future.
If the Government wanted to break up the gas industry, it should have done so at the time of privatisation, as it did with the electricity industry. It may be true that the electricity industry does not provide real price competition (though prices can be compared between areas) but competition is not viable in industries where safety is the first consideration.
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