Gazprom’s LNG offensive: a demonstration of monopoly strength or impetus for Russian gas sector reform?

Post-Communist Economies, Vol 28, No 3, 2016, pp. 281-299.

Gazprom enjoys a dominant and privileged position in the Russian energy sector, and indeed in the economy as a whole. This article analyses the company’s failure to achieve the Russian state’s objectives for the country to become a force in the global LNG (liquefied natural gas) market. Has it weakened the company’s standing relative to other industry players and the authorities, with the possibility that they could unleash broader reforms in the Russian gas sector? Short-term political and economic considerations may slow progress towards a radical outcome, with Gazprom’s importance as a domestic and foreign policy tool providing some protection at a time of uncertainty for the Kremlin, but in the longer term it may well be the case that the liberalisation of LNG exports in December 2013 comes to be seen as the first step in a much broader reorganisation of the Russian gas sector.



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