Oil Industry Structure and Developments in the Resource Base: Increasing Contradictions?

In Jakub M Godzimirski (ed), Russian Energy in a Changing World: What is the Outlook for the Hydrocarbons Superpower? Farnham, Ashgate, 2013, pp. 35-56.

Russian energy resources are spread out over large territories, some of which are very poorly developed in infrastructure. This obviously has consequences for time and costs in developing the resources. The general trend has been movement from west to the east, from south to the north, from onshore to offshore, and from relatively shallow to deeper geological strata. Also the composition of the reserves to be developed is changing, from relatively simple and well-known compositions to more complex ones. The Russian hydrocarbon resource base is not being exhausted in absolute term, but we are witnessing the exhaustion of the best located and relatively uncomplicated deposits. This chapter reviews developments in the resource base for oil, discussing whether the structure of the Russian oil industry and policy trends in this regard fit the resource situation. The underlying argument is that the future of Russian oil production will depend on alignment of the resource picture, industry structure and policies.