With the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, second in coal production and eighth largest oil assembly, President Vladimir Putin draws grandiose plan for the country’s hydrocarbon reserve encouraging drilling and investment plans aimed at further development. Private investments, domestic or foreign is however, a big no-no, rather state government plays the steward to Russia’s energy patrimony or to say ‘serve the national interest’.
“Hydrocarbons are an extremely important sphere of our potential cooperation” Putin says in an interview “but I would like to stress: we are already cooperating in the electric power, primarily engineering for the electric power sector”.
Given today’s high oil prices, state government sounds positive to funding new projects. Additionally, Indian and Chinese government shows willingness to do business with Russian companies with their investment criteria more in line with the approach favored by their Russian hosts. Putin further stressed state government to have larger share while a meager chunk gifted to private investors mainly in electricity sector.
The post Cold-War relics witnessed Russian industries as highly inefficient, combined with under-nourished investment opportunities and mismanagement dominating the sector; of which petroleum poised to have a serious impact overall. Further huge infusion of capital, technology and negligent exploration management hit the production to a record-low and decline. This is return could have foiled Putin’s plan and country’s national honor.
Putin must recognize that to put back the country’s faltering image, he needs a petroleum sector with well-managed and well-capitalized oil, gas and pipelines. Russia’s oil and gas industry being the backbone to the country’s economy generate fifty percent of the total revenues and taxes and most of foreign exchange, need balanced combination of public and private governance.
A faltering Russian oil sector would be a disaster for the world economy as well as for Russia itself.
Rahul Ghosh, working as freelance industry analyst working is a regular contributor and has written many articles and commentaries on diversified industry sectors. For further discussion with the writer, email at email@example.com